Komen Philadelphia Supporters Still Reaching Out During COVID-19 Pandemic
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- There are so many special memories from Mother's Days past -- so many strong mothers and grandmothers, sisters and friends. The Komen family is in this for the long haul, until there's a cure.
The coronavirus pandemic has abruptly forced Philadelphia into a standstill with stay-at-home orders and terms like social distancing permeating our lives. Komen Philadelphia CEO Elaine Grobman is finding refuge in her home like the rest of us.
"I am really fortunate I have wonderful, I have a wonderful family that is supporting us," Grobman said.
On this Mother's Day, for the first time in 29 years, the safe haven many breast cancer survivors and their families have on the Art Museum steps will no longer be there. The deadly COVID-19 pandemic has forced Komen to postpone the annual More Than Pink Walk indefinitely.
"I feel sad but I feel hopeful I know that we're doing the right thing by protecting our survivors, our sponsors, and our supporters," said Grobman.
Safety is the number one priority with thousands of breast cancer survivors, whose already compromised health would be even more in jeopardy during this crisis.
Grobman says, despite news of the postponed walk, supporters are still reaching out, finding ways to keep hope for a cure alive.
"I reached a lovely woman who sent us $10. She shared with me that a few years ago she was treated by a Komen grant and that right now she was out of work and she wanted to share with us what she could" she said.
The evolution of the Komen walk has been a part of the city's Mother's Day tradition for decades, beginning with a humble start.
"In 1991 standing on those steps of the Art Museum wondering if anyone would come," Grobman said
Just last year on a rain-soaked day, thousands showed up for the More Than Pink Walk, leading to more than $1 million in donations. Sponsors like WAWA lead the way every year.
"I am thrilled to share with you that they will be with us next year," said Grobman.
Fundraising during this health crisis has taken on a more virtual form but donations are still filtering in and Komen's mission continues.
"Our patient assistance program is working overtime to support patients," Grobman said. "We support groceries, utilities, transportation and rent."
Over the years, Komen's outreach has saved countless lives as their presence has become a huge part of the fabric of Philadelphia. While many will miss the walk on this Mother's Day, memories of a sea of pink are unforgettable.
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