Looking at cancer stats is quite a humbling experience. The lifetime probability of men developing cancer? 1 in 2. For women? 1 in 3. I suppose you could say that I’ve been quite fortunate in my life not to remember anyone near and dear to me dying from cancer. But then, this is only the case because my dad’s mother died of pancreatic cancer before I started forming memories and my mom’s father died of leukemia when she was 10. My mom’s mother, the only grandmother I’ve ever known, has had colon cancer twice, most recently in 2004. Both times, she’s won her battle. 4 of my mom’s friends had breast cancer, and her best friend lost her fight.
So why am I trying to raise money to fight cancer? It’s not as though any research done now will bring my grandparents back. The truth of the matter is that I’ve been following a woman’s battle with cancer through the eyes of her husband for well over a year now, and it was one post in particular that really convinced me that the Lance Armstrong Foundation is doing something incredible:
I expected maybe a form letter back in a couple weeks, maybe a list of local resources I could contact on my own.
Instead, the next day, I got a call from a lady who stayed on the phone with me for 90 minutes, heaping practical help. She set us up with ways we could save money on prescriptions. She conference-called in research foundations, hooking us up with clinical trials we might participate in. And while she was the model of efficiency, she was also incredibly caring and personal. She gave me her direct number and told me to call her when I was ready to take next steps.
That’s great work. And I’m not trying to be selective and say that they’re the only cancer foundation that does good work, I know they aren’t. I also understand that it’s not the best time to ask people to donate, and I won’t begrudge you if can’t/won’t, but if you can, thanks.
To donate, go here. I’ll try to think of something to give people who donate, you know, other than my respect.