Nov 21, 2011

Slices of Life

Filed under: Expressions,randomness,Home — Tags: , — Kay @ 1:52 pm


The photography and expressions sections of my site have stayed woefully quiet these past few weeks. Mainly because I don’t trust my ankle enough to take my camera outside with me, and well, you just don’t get a whole lot of excitement when you’re stuck at home.

I really miss walking for hours on end in the park next to our house, that is now a fairytale world filled with golden, green and red leaves. I’m terrified I’ll slip on one of the leaves and face it, it’s just not the same in a wheelchair.


Aside from that I’m doing great. The ankle is healing and bit by bit I’m regaining use of it. Started physical therapy, but aside from a stretching exercise there isn’t a whole lot he could do for me at this point. I found so many exercises at, that I’ve already giving myself the ultimate post-op workout.

And I take pictures of my son. A lot. So much that he’s been desensitized and doesn’t even notice me and my camera anymore.


Poor child.

But what has really bugged me these past few days are the latest developments around the Pink Ribbon foundation here in the Netherlands—a foundation I have supported for as long as I can remember.

Once the news spread that Pink Ribbon Holland donates only 1.8% of the money they receive on cancer/research all hell broke loose in my country. Of course all that wasn’t true, according to Pink Ribbon.

It prompted a Dutch breast cancer survivor and writer, Karin Spaink, to do a little research of her own and meticulously go through their annual reports, where it became clear to her that even the almost insulting 1.8% seemed too colorful a picture. The entire sum of their donation to cancer research was: nothing. nada. zip. 0,0.

This wouldn’t have been an issue if only they made it clear from the start that their sole purpose is to create awareness. That all the donations they receive go straight to that and just that. I’m good with that. But they didn’t, and still they don’t, yet that is why people donated their money and bought pink items and their magazine. Getting people to donate under false pretenses is deceit in my opinion.

Their annual reports continuously state that 15% of their donations goes straight to research, 70% goes to Psych Social-care and 15% goes to awareness.

But if you look at the numbers: the money Pink Ribbon Holland has donated to research between 2007 and 2010 was 3 million euros. Over 3.1 million has been collected for them by third-parties: A Sister’s Hope and KWF (Dutch cancer foundation). That money was already marked for research and given to them by those organizations under the specific condition it was to be used on research only.

From the looks of it, and according to their own numbers, PRH spend none of their own funds on research. Not one lousy euro. Worse even: they still have a hundred thousand euros of the money marked for research by the third-party organizations lying around doing nothing particularly useful.

So, what did they do with the total sum of 18 million euros they received through donations from 2007 to 2010 on?

Well, about 3 million went to the cost of the organization itself, 6 million was spent on psych-social care and 1.5 million was spent on education… which leaves them with a whopping 7 million euros in reserve.

Still with me?

Pink Ribbon then posted a blog update but strangely enough there seems to have been some creative bookkeeping involved. What they list in their annual reports as Psycho Social Care has miraculously been changed to a ‘Psycho social-care and quality of life research‘ status.

Now if all this still isn’t shady enough for you, it also turns out that the Professor who conducted this Psycho social-care and quality of life research is also a member of the advisory council responsible for granting the subsidies.

Must be nice, being in a position where you are able to grant yourself a subsidy.

I’m left with the question how much of the money I spent on annual donations, pink kitchen items, cute bracelets, caps and whatever-I-can-do-to-support-the-cause actually goes towards breast cancer? I fear the worst. I guess you could say I feel duped. And if I already feel duped, how on earth will all these Dutch women suffering from breast cancer feel?

And that’s where my favorite chocolate incense kicks in, to keep me zen. And my son, to keep me busy.

    Click here to print recipes older than 2010
    e-mail this post to a friend


    1. 1

      What a disaster – all of it – being stuck in the house and the state of the Pink Ribbon. I’ll have to do some research and see if this is a widespread problem… :( hope you heal very quickly.

      Sasha (Global Table Adventure) on Nov 21, 2011 @ 2:23 pm Reply
    2. 2

      Really glad you’re bouncing back and J is looking cuter than ever if that’s even possible considering how cute he was this time last year ;)

      Am I understanding correctly that most of the money went directly to the foundation itself like for their salaries?
      How people can run a “charity” or “research” program as a means to get rich themselves is beyond me. What really sets me off is the fact that they must laugh about all the gullible people that send the money or buy the product.
      I hate to say it but I’ve grown into such a cynic.
      When I found out the child welfare charity I was donating to really wasn’t a non profit I was livid.
      I still have my chosen charities but I did research first.
      It’s disgusting and disheartening how people can be so damn greedy.
      I feel for you.

      Teri on Nov 21, 2011 @ 4:26 pm Reply
      1. From what I understood, the Dutch CEO already has an annual revenue of somewhere around€85,000,000 per year.

        The worst part? I don’t think Pink Ribbon is the only one doing this. At this point I don’t trust any organization anymore.

        Kay on Nov 21, 2011 @ 4:31 pm Reply
    3. 3

      That’s so sad, and maddening. It makes me want to research more carefully before giving in the future. How could they do that and still sleep at night??

      Jenna on Nov 21, 2011 @ 4:58 pm Reply
      1. It amazes me and angers me so much. All this time we thought they were doing good, we thought they were raising money so that researchers could continue to find a cure against cancer.


        Kay on Nov 21, 2011 @ 5:00 pm Reply
    4. 4

      This is terrible. I lost my mother 21 years ago to cancer & am an avid pink ribbon supporter, Its a travesty that greedy people take advantage of these situations. They really should be held accountable for having “false pretenses”. Just remember there are still good people with good intentions out in the world, it’s just sad you just have to research harder to find them. God bless, I hope you heal quickly & I adore your blog :)

      Nicole on Dec 3, 2011 @ 4:23 pm Reply
      1. I couldn’t agree more. I lost my mom to cancer 3 years ago now and things like these infuriate me.

        I don’t think they have to expect an awful lot of donations anymore in the Netherlands. Things like this seldom are forgotten.

        Kay on Dec 3, 2011 @ 4:42 pm Reply
    5. 5

      So sorry about this; I too buy all the pink things; I am in the US; my boyfirend’s nephew and his girlfriend live there where you do; I am always interested in different countries; I guess we share some similarities; we both have crooks that steal from good people.

      Merrie Miller on Dec 13, 2011 @ 4:55 am Reply

    RSS feed for comments on this post.

    Leave a commentClick here to cancel reply.