An Open Letter To the Susan G. Komen Foundation (aka For the Cure Foundation)

Dear Susan G. Komen Foundation-

Or should I call you “For The Cure” Foundation? Whatever you prefer. In light of the recent headlines concerning you trademarking every slogan that involves the words “For The Cure” and you attempting to sue other companies and non-profit organizations that use the words “For The Cure” because that’s considered trademark infringement and you think you should own those three words, I’m writing today with a special request.  But before I get to my request, I have a few questions I’d like to inquire about concerning your recent activity.

First, do you plan to also trademark the color pink or possibly the word “pink?”  If so, are you going to demand singer Alecia Beth Moore to change her celebrity name – Pink?  And what about the Pink Panther?  Would you sue him and require him to get a dye job?   Will the back-to-school 16 count Crayola box now only be 15? Will pink champagne have to call itself tangerine to avoid a lawsuit?  Will Sweethearts candy now only come in yellow, green, white and blue?  Will you sue flower companies for delivering pink roses on Valentine’s Day? Will hospitals now need to assign a new trademark color to newborn baby girls?  Will Aerosmith have to change their favorite color?

I would also like to commend you on being able to rally millions of people for your one cause, collecting millions of dollars “for the cure.”  Had I known you needed that money to fight these legal battles over three little words, I would have surely joined the efforts.  I thought you were raising that money for breast cancer awareness, but since you dropped the words “breast cancer foundation” from your name I guess that’s not true anymore. I know that you are saying you are just protecting yourself as a brand, but I thought you were a charity.  Not a brand.  Crest is a brand.  Doritos is a brand. Coke is a brand. Yoplait is a brand, a brand in fact that donates money to you each year for the collection of their pink lids.  Maybe I will also have to reconsider what brand of yogurt I eat now.

And now for my request. I would like your permission to still be able to use the words “for” and “the” freely.  After all, they are two of the most frequently used words in the English language, especially “the”.  Can the American people please have “for” and “the” without upsetting you too much and having to get a lawyer?  Please?  Okay, okay, we’ll let you have “cure.”  Go on.  Take it.  Who needs it?  Sure, there are lots of other cancers out there that need a “cure.”  AIDS needs a “cure” too.  But we’ll just make them pick some other word.  God knows the dictionary is full of them. Heck, “aid” is a good substitute for “cure.”  Or how bout heal, fix, elixir, antidote, or correct?  All perfectly good substitutes for “cure.”  I’d race for the elixir of leukemia any day.  I’d even race for the Rid of Rectal Cancer, but Rid makes me think of that brand name used to get “rid” of children’s head lice.  They’d probably sue us over that.

By the way, Susan G. Komen’s maiden name was Goodman.  Good man.  That of which you are not any longer.  You are wasting your time with this nonsense.  You are wasting money which supporters have so gracefully bestowed upon you. And you are wasting your supporters time, time that could be spent on organizations that are truly looking “for the cure” to whatever they stand for.


Shannon Yarbrough

Racing “for the Cure.” For that English Rock Band, The Cure.  Don’t sue me!


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