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Susan G. Komen cancels D.C. 3-Day Walk

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The Susan G. Komen 3-day Walk will not be returning to D.C. or six other cities or states in 2014 because of “economic uncertainty," officials announced Tuesday.

It’s a devastating decision for some survivors who say it’s so much more than just a walk.

“It’s three days of how the world is supposed to be,” Komen participant and fundraiser Debbi Shaffer says.

This October’s Komen race will be the fourth and now her last through the nation’s capital. It will also be the last year for races in Arizona, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Tampa, San Francisco, and Washington.

This fall’s race will go on as planned. After that, the closest Komen race will be held in Philadelphia.
 
It’s a decision that Shaffer says is sad, but not entirely surprising after a firestorm of bad publicity erupted over the organization’s decision to end donations to Planned Parenthood. The decision was reversed, but the damage was done and support suffered.

“I’m sure that had things to do with it," Shaffer says. "It made my fundraising more difficult."

And cash is key. A statement from Komen officials says participation levels in the last five years have made it hard to financially sustain events in 14 cities. 

Shaffer, who was named Top Individual Fundraiser in 2012, will take one final walk through the capital’s historic course and can only hope that the lack of a race doesn’t mean a lack of awareness among D.C.-area women.

“I’ve had three different instances where I’ve been told that I saved somebody’s life because I just simply talked about my experience,” she says. “There’s no words to explain how that makes you feel.”

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