Every single year, for the past five years now Yannick and I have attended The Purple Party in support of Childhood Cancer Canada. The first year we went as guests of one of the sponsors. That evening we learned something about children’s cancers that horrified us. We came to know that research for children’s cancers are grossly underfunded. In fact based on the numbers, I would even go so far as to say they’re virtually ignored. The stats on how much research money is allotted to kids’ cancer specifically is 3%.
THREE PER CENT.
Let’s do the math. 3% is three cents, so three cents of every dollar raised is being funneled into trying to figure out kid’s cancers. Three cents needs to cover:
a) better treatment methods/options
b) why kids cancers are on the rise in the first place
c) better preventative testing
d) drugs to help win the war against cancer…
just to name a few. That is a lot of work that three cents needs to handle.
Some of you out there might say; “Well three cents of BILLIONS of dollars of research money IS a lot of money.” And you wouldn’t be wrong. In fact you’re quite right. But, cancer in kids is faster growing (perhaps because their cells are replicating at such a rapid rate??) They’re also harder to detect, and maybe that’s because children aren’t quite as in tune with their young bodies, or perhaps they don’t have the vocabulary to express “where it hurts” quite as effectively as adults. Whatever the reasons of it being on the rise are, I can assure you that the parents of the children who get diagnosed don’t really want to know why more money isn’t being spent on figuring out how to keep their children from getting cancer. They just want to know that money has been spent to ensure that their child will win their fight.
I’m sure I’m not the only person who read the headline about how Michael Buble’s eldest boy, who is just 3 years old has been diagnosed with cancer. I’m confident that they are devastated, that they are scared, that they are praying enough research has been done so that their beautiful boy becomes cancer free. I’m sure they’re thinking these thoughts because over the past seven years, between our involvement with Ooch and CCC, I’ve met so many parents, too many parents, who shared that these were their exact fears when they heard; “Your son/daughter has cancer…” Last night I watched a father, who is a firefighter, brave, bold and fearless, describe through his tears and his broken voice, the battle that they have endured for YEAR with their young son as the cancer returned over and over again.
This is not good. 3% isn’t nearly enough.
Having the knowledge of how to operate and remove the tumors just isn’t enough. Tell that to the infants, the toddlers, the 6,7,8, 9 year olds, the teenagers who are losing limbs to this horrible disease, and in too many cases their lives, that 3% is enough. Tell them that 3% of billions is really quite a lot of money.
I’m pretty confident that if you stood in front of them, and looked them in the eyes and heard their stories about all the things that cancer stole from them you would, as we did, come to the conclusion that 3% is pathetic. 3% is not enough, even if it is 3% of billions of research dollars. And not to be corny, but I’m going to go there, so bear with me. Whitney Houston said and sang it beautifully:
I believe the children are our future
Teach them well and let them lead the way
Show them all the beauty they possess inside
Give them a sense of pride to make it easier
Let the children’s laughter remind us how we used to be
Everybody’s searching for a hero
People need someone to look up to
I never found anyone to fullfill my needs
Let us not be those people, who don’t fulfill the needs of the kids looking for heroes. Let us know/believe that children really are the future of our world. We need them healthy, vibrant, educated and strong. Cancer steals all these things from them. By giving a little bit of money specifically to organizations that help kids not only fight this war, but win it, we’re all doing a very good thing toward the future of this beautiful, wonderful planet of ours. Giving money to Camp Ooch and Childhood Cancer Canada are not things that make me go “hmmm” at all.
Happy #RAOK (random acts of kindness)Friday friends!! It’s not too late to go do something kind for some unsuspecting fellow human. If you want your can even do it from the comfort of your own home by going to http://www.childhoodcancer.ca/ and donate to kids you don’t even know. I mean if that’s not a random act of kindness I don’t know what is?