Thursday, November 15, 2012


Who doesn’t want to find a cure for cancer? We give untold millions to organizations who claim that aim, but how can we be sure if our donations will be used as we wish?

Whatever you want to make of the current Petraeus flap, for example, it bears a relevant sidebar. A woman who’s involved, Jill Kelley, operated the “Doctor Kelley Cancer Foundation” along with her husband, a cancer surgeon. The foundation’s tax forms stated that “it shall be operated exclusively to conduct cancer research and to grant wishes to terminally ill adult cancer patients.” Apparently the group spent all its money on parties, entertainment, travel and attorney fees. $43,317 was billed as “Meals and Entertainment,” $38,610 was assigned to “Travel,” another $25,013 was spent on legal fees, $8,822 went to “Automotive Expenses,” $12,807 for office expenses and supplies, and $7,854 on utilities and telephones. By the end of 2007, the charity went bankrupt, evidently having spent not a penny on research or patient services.

A San Francisco group, Breast Cancer Action (, tracks spurious cancer funds and organizations with a project called “Think Before You Pink.” I recommend consulting their info before you donate to any outfit that claims to help cancer patients.

Today BCA spotted an unusually outrageous ploy. One of Chesapeake Energy Corporation’s sub-companies, Nomac Drilling, which injects plenty of carcinogens and who-knows-what-else into groundwater with its fracking technology, has decided to support those who have breast cancer. An Oklahoma newspaper, NewsOK (, brightly reports,

“Nomac Drilling is going pink. The Chesapeake Energy Corp. affiliate's newest rig will sport a pink ribbon to support breast cancer awareness.”

Chesapeake Energy recently donated $10,000 to Susan G. Komen for the Cure, and intends to make a similar donation in Ohio, where the pink rig is expected to be sent. Said Nomac’s President, “As we work in areas across the country, we hope this pink ribbon doghouse [sic!] serves as a reminder of the importance of finding a cure.”

These folks always emphasize finding a cure. Nothing wrong with that. But when it comes to identifying and eradicating causes of cancer, they’re curiously silent, and I think I know why.

1 comment:

  1. I saw a commercial for 5-Hour Energy pushing their Pink drink with a donation to breast cancer research pitch. Their product contains possibly carcinogenic chemicals!