Friday, October 9, 2009

Pink verses Gold

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This campaign has been very successful. The increased awareness of breast cancer has resulted in large increases in funding, resulting in greatly improved survival rates.


September was Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.

  • Did you know that childhood cancer is the leading cause of disease deaths in our children?
  • Did you know that 1 in 300 children will develop cancer before the age of 19?
  • Did you know that the causes of many of the 120 types of childhood cancer are unknown and for the most part untreatable?
  • Did you know that breast and prostate cancers receive 20 percent of the National Cancer Institutes budget of $4.6 billion?
  • Did you know that all 120 childhood cancers combined receive less than 3 percent?

How many children are in your school district? Divide that number by 300, and you will know how many will get cancer before the age of 19. Then divide that number by 5, and that is how many will die of that cancer. And then remember this...It is totally random. Childhood cancer is not connected to heredity or lifestyle. There is no way to predict who will get it, and therefore no way to protect your child. In other words, that child could be yours.

So what do we do?

Some are very jealous the attention breast cancer receives, angry that our children continue to be ignored. My friend Bob Piniewski has some thoughts on that topic. Our teenage sons battled the same cancer. Here is what Bob has to say...


There is a lot of anger and frustration and jealousy out there right now, over all the pink. It is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. And Susan G Komen Foundation is simply everywhere. I know you know this. Does it piss you off, get you mad? Does it get you so sick you could puke?
So what.

25 years ago, Nancy Brinker lost her sister to breast cancer. She made a promise to her dying sister to do something. She sure as hell did. Congratulations Nancy. You have build an unbelievable organization from scratch. You have funded over $1 BILLION towards curing breast cancer. Truly an American grassroots success story.

My point is this. Misplaced anger will not cure childhood cancer. Jealousy is part of the problem with funding now, why organizations DON'T work. These emotions will get us no where. And believe me, I have every right to be pissed, and I am pissed, just not at Pink.

What we can do is learn. How did she do it? Actually, Sweet Lily's Dad has pointed out that her original model was based on AIDs activists in NYC. She built a group, organized and steered it. And now, has millions of men, women and children supporting her cause. Unreal. So, instead of being angry, I am going to try to learn from them. And, further, what better alignment - Mom's that are already activists and kids fighting for their life's. Each and every Mom and Dad reading this would trade places in a heartbeat, why would breast cancer Mom's be any different?

So, next time you see pink, don't get mad. Check em out. Ask em if they can help. Tell em about PAC2, I have. Actually had some good initial talks with them and will be meeting with them soon......hey, stranger things have happened.

Look here....maybe join up and post your own note - I'm certain you will find others in your area....http://apps.komen.org/forums/tm.aspx?m=257590&high=pediatric

This is my post on the Komen boards....

AN OPEN LETTER TO MOM's FIGHTING FOR BREAST CANCER AWARENESS AND FUNDING

Imagine an intruder in your home. Imagine you are there with your children. Imagine that intruder attacks. What would you do? I think your answer would be to throw yourself in front of the intruder to protect your children. And, if you had to, I imagine you would give your life to protect your children.

Unfortunately that intruder, cancer, intrudes on far too many homes. I think most of you think you are "home alone" with that intruder. But the truth is your children are home too.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. September was National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. How many of you Mom's fighting for awareness and funding for breast cancer knew that? How many of you know that:

  • Childhood cancer is the number one cause of death from disease for our children, killing more every year than asthma, diabetes, cystic fibrosis, congenital anomalies and pediatric AIDs COMBINED!
  • About 1 in 300 children will be diagnosed with cancer before age 20
  • 1 in 4 or 5 of those children will not survive
  • 60% of the survivors have long term health problems (secondary cancers, major organ problems, developmental issues) from the "down-sized" adult treatments
  • All 12 major types of childhood cancer receive less than 3% of federal and private funding
  • Simply put, both awareness and funding for childhood cancer is woefully inadequate.

About 25 years ago, awareness and funding for breast cancer was woefully inadequate. So I applaud and support the efforts of Susan G. Komen to fight back. You and your supporters have done an unbelievable job. And just to be very clear, last month I lost my Mom to breast cancer.

But I am simply asking that now and next September, you also consider supporting childhood cancer awareness and funding. Look into CureSearch, People Against Childhood Cancer, St. Baldrik's, Alex's Lemonade Stand's, The Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation and the many other fine organizations fighting every day for our kids.

For my wife and I, sadly it is too late. On January 5, 2008 we lost our son AJ to childhood cancer. Before Fathers Day 2007 AJ was simply another happy, healthy, athletic, joy to be around young man looking forward to high school. That all changed overnight. And our lives are forever shattered by the loss of our future. We are not widows or orphans; there is no name for us. But I told AJ we would fight back. And I am seeking help from you.

Who knows, your support may help may save a child, god forbid; your own.


Bob Piniewski
Founder
People Against Childhood Cancer

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am sorry if this comes out mean but I can't stand pink anymore! And I can't stand gold anymore or any other color dealing with cancer. I lost two friends to cancer and I've been traumatized to say the least. My whole being altered. My soul almost crushed. Seeing as I didn't know either of my two friends personally, it makes my grief even more complicated. It's gotten so bad that I questioned if I wanted to live. But I realize now that the only person I have to take care of is me! I need to become my own cause! And so, I've decided to withdraw all my support to this cause of curing cancer. Until I can heal my wounds, I don't see how I can be of any help to anyone.