Thursday, February 9, 2012


I don't even know where to begin. I have never used this blog as a platform for personal issues...Melissa DID. But it was (IS) her blog. But I know that this is something she would be posting here. This is an issue close to HER heart. It has always been about Melissa in some way, or at least I've tried. But this is something that she was passionate about - and so am I.

I'm sure you have read or heard about the decision that the Susan G. Komen Foundation made regarding grants to Planned Parenthood. Personally, I am so disappointed that the Komen Foundation turned a BREAST CANCER issue into an abortion issue. The more I read, I truly feel that it was purely political. I walk in the 3 day walks for MY DAUGHTER. To END breast cancer. So NO OTHER WOMAN will ever have to go through what Melissa went through...or what I went through WITH Melissa.
Suddenly it's not about women's health.

Most of you know that Melissa was pregnant when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. I want you to read what SHE posted when someone questioned her support of Obama in the last election:

First of all the statement "Pro- Choice which includes partial birth abortion" is not really accurate is it?

The Supreme Court has upheld the partial birth abortion ban as of
2007 from what I can see (,
So people who are pro-choice, are actually "Pro-choice which does NOT include partial birth abortion since it is illegal"

Belive it or not? I am anti-abortion but pro-choice. I dont think its right, and like Sarah Palin, I too, made the decision to keep a pregnancy aganst suggestions of some drs. (You posted anonymously so I dont know if you know that when I was first diagnosed, I was three months pregant. I had more than one doctor say that "Nobody would blame me" if I wanted to terminate the pregancy since I had so much on my plate and was facing a tough fight of chemotherapy)

I went to church, prayed with a priest, and walked out knowing I was able to do this. I wanted to keep the child and just couldnt even think about having an abortion.

If you ever wondered why I wear a prosthesis and didnt get full reconstruction at the time of the surgery, its because I was not quite into my 2nd trimester when I could safely have chemotherapy, so the doc shuffled the treatments and I ended up getting a mastectomy first - BUT NO RECONSTRUCTION, because I would need to start chemo soon after, and reconstruction would have meant a much longer recovery time, and I had a small window to get that taken care of and get healed before taking the chemo.

As you may or may not know, we lost our son, John Patrick when i was seven months. I went into pre-term labor because of a cervix issue (not chemo related) and we had a funeral for him just before I started radiation.

I dont think abortion is right - and I have had friends terminate pregancies right under my nose and I have tried to talk them out of it and they still do it. This they do knowing that I cannot have children.

Did George Sr or George Jr. overturn Roe v Wade? No. Is John McCain going to overturn it? No. But you still keep voting for those conservatives because they're on "Gods Side" on this issue.

You'll vote for a politican that will cut funding on single mothers who decided to keep their baby, and seriously doubt you've ever considered adoption or fostering these unwanted children, have you?

Drugs are Illegal. Do people still do drugs?

Of course they do, and its an even worse situation than if it were legal and controlled, because bad people make BIG MONEY off the weakness of others. It creates crime, and its a horrible situation.

If abortion were banned, do you think people would stop having abortions?

Of course not - young women would turn to evil people performing even more dangerous procedures, they would try to drink alcohol to kill the baby, maybe go back the old school use of hangars to abort the child. Our country has already experienced this-which may be why RvW is upheld.

Making abortion illegal WILL NOT STOP ABORTIONS.

Its an issue that communities and churches together should be working on to not only -and I know you cons just HATE THIS - PROMOTE SAFE SEX....Heavily encourage adoption.....make these girls know they have a better choice to make.

THIS is what will curb abortion, not overturning the law. Its a matter of how strongly you feel about abortion and how you translate that into work or volunteering to help change the minds of young women.

Are you willing to work towards that goal, or are you simply satisfied with giving your vote to an anti-abortion candidate who you know wont change anything, sit back, and say, "Ive done all I could."

That, my friends, is what is horrifying about the anti-abortion issue. Do you really think for a cottin-pickin minute that abortion is what McCain is going to focus on? Thats the reason why so many of "the Base" werent really supporting him in the first place!
******** ********* **********

So, I'm pretty sure Melissa would be supportive of our decision.
I want to do the RIGHT thing...because I'm doing it for HER.

I know that within a couple of days, Komen reversed their decision. But the damage has been done. Four people are registered on our team, and we are all very concerned about be able to raise the money to do the walk. (on my FB page it shows that I have raised $2400 for the walk. This was money raised by the Kelts at the fundraiser in October - I sent the check in the DAY BEFORE this happened!)

Another interesting thing I found out...only 24% of the monies from the fundraising goes to breast cancer research. I should have done MY research. But I walked because I walked with Melissa - we BOTH believed in the Komen Foundation. I need to do MORE research, but in the meantime, Angie and I have been talking about starting doing a 5K(+)...and raising money to donate locally for women with breast cancer.
I think Melissa would like THAT too.

So. That is where I stand. I know everyone might not agree, but I want to do what Melissa would do. I think her post on her stand (above)pretty much says it all.

As soon as we make a definite decision, I'll post more info on the blog.

And without further ado...a pic of DREW! (you knew that was coming, didn't you?)

We have more pictures of Melissa making faces than NOT making when I catch Andrew making one...I take it! His Aunt Fort would love it!

Had a relaxing weekend (and a trip to the boat) with good friends, Mary & Curt...
(Curt was Donny's fraternity brother in college...they are now in our "club"...
the one year anniversary for their daughter Courtney is this weekend...thinking of you Courtney - I know you and Melissa are watching over us!)

Nick & Mere's new house...getting there! The weather has been cooperative and they seem to be right on schedule!

Happy 80th Birthday Grandma Fortener!
Had a nice party at Marion's for Grandma's birthday (Melissa's
Marions!) Lots of people (there's at least 40 just with Donny's
brother's/sisters/nieces and nephews!) then you add cousins,
friends....she was smiling ear to ear all day. The only thing
missing was Melissa's laughter...even "Uncle" Howard said "If Melissa
were here, she would be the life of the party". You are SO right
Howard. How I miss that EVERY single day.


Susie Q said...

No one could have said this better than Melissa. Thank you Pam for re-printing it...thinking about you always.

PretaniVirago said...

Hey Mama Fort - I was wondering how you felt about this whole fiasco. :( It has certainly been an eye opening experience for us. With everything I've read in the last week or so it seems many comments have endorsed 'The American Cancer Society' as a better alternative to Komen. I guess in the long run it's about taking your best stab at researching the organizations - in the end though we'll never really know for sure. What matters is doing something, ANYTHING, to stop this awful thing from happening to another woman. You're on our minds and in our hearts - Philly (and Tammy)

KJ said...

I think need to preface my comment I'm about to make with this:
Fort knew exactly where I stood on abortion because we discussed it at length on numerous occasions.

Susan G's donations to Planned Parenthood are one of the reasons why it pains me to make donations to them. I know that abortion will remain legal but that doesn't mean any of MY money needs to go towards an organization that supports it. However, when there's an opportunity to make donations in Fort's name, I gladly do it.

I agree that the more that comes out about this, the more it appears there was outside pressure for Susan G. to make the decision. Their donations went up 100% when they announced it but I think they may have alienated both sides by reversing it.

I think as long as you stick to your own convictions, whichever way they lead you, everyone here will support you no matter our own stance on the issue. I know I certainly will!

Anonymous said...

Thanks. Took a couple days to think about how to respond, but knew I had to respond. Like Melissa, I believe women should have the right to make their own decisions about THEIR bodies. We are both personally anti abortion, but would never think of making that choice for anyone else. hoping we can get a 5k started, do it annually and donate locally to women w breast cancer. There were a couple of other things Melissa wanted to do, one at Hospice...will be looking in to that too. In the end, I just don't want anyone to go through what Melissa went through.

Anonymous said...

I know there is a group called The Noble Circle Project that was started here in Dayton. Have you ever checked into them? The group that I walked with did a race with Miami Valley Hospital last fall. It was not specifically for breast cancer but money raised goes to help women get testing and treatment who might not be able to afford it.
Thinking of you,

Anonymous said...

I do know about the Noble Circle. will check into it. Thanks Denyse.

Anonymous said...

Cuz - I haven't checked in for awhile. I too was wondering how you would feel about the events of last week. I'm so glad you reposted Melissa's thoughts. I am looking for other outlets to donate to in Melissa's memory and love your idea about a local 5K. I will also increase my donations to Planned Parenthood in honor of Melissa and my friend's daughter, Renee, who is battling Ovarian Cancer. I'm doing my last Komen event on Feb 26th - Bowling for the Cure - only because I'd commmitted last month and already made a donation. I can't, in good faith, further support Komen directly after everything I've learned this past week. I promise to catch up with you soon. You're always in my thoughts and I still miss Melissa and her infinite wisdom. Keep on posting. Love and BIG hugs, Sue