Cancer is a Bummer!

Cancer is a bummer!  A real bummer!  Especially in children.

Why should a toddler be forced to suffer from such an invisible assailant?  While parents are so painfully impotent to help.  Why should a preschooler lose her beautiful flowing locks and be bald from chemo?  Why should an adolescent be forced to fight such a malady instead of playing sports?  Why should any child die in his or her prime?

Cancer is a threat, to your child and mine.  To your grandchildren and mine.  To your great grandchildren and mine.  That makes me mad.  And makes me want to bawl.  My fight or flight adrenalin kicks in.  But I’m man enough to not run.  So it makes me want to fight.  And fight I shall!  That’s my responsibility.

But how?  How can I fight the invisible?  How can I fight the unknown?  How can I reduce a disease to impotency?  How can I help the stricken children?

Cancer is vulnerable to research.  Medical advances prove the fact every day.  Dedicated scientists become intelligence agents to detect vulnerabilities of the disease.  And to test a variety of weapons to thrust into its innards, bringing it to its knees.  Or lower.  Of course working scientists need a salary.  And equipment.  And supplies.  So funding becomes a requirement.

Aha!  Contributing to the financial requirements of cancer research to benefit children is a way I can fight cancer.  But where do I find an appropriate research center to take my few dollars?  How do I evaluate promising research projects?  How do I coordinate research reports to guide further experiments?

Thank God, I’ve come across a way.

Cancer research to benefit children is the sole focus of a local group I’ve found working with an international group.  I’ve discovered that thousands of folks around the country who also want to fight cancer have banded together.  Consolidating individual contributions, efforts and time into millions of dollars and scores of very successful research projects.

Going bald on St Patrick’s Day names the upcoming St Baldrick’s Festival in Greenville.  Get it?  Bald in emotional support of chemo children.  I discovered last year that scores of locals volunteered to be shaved in promise to their financial supporters, similar to a walk-a-thon.  I watched heads of hair young and old, long and short, black and white, female and male, gorgeous and scraggly, shorn into door knobs.  With excitement, with anticipation, with fun, with near $50,000 being raised so that the national St Baldrick’s Foundation could fund childhood cancer research.

This year, I’ve decided to fight even harder.  Instead of only contributing to support a friend who was shorn, I’ve chosen to help organize the event, to distribute promotional literature, and to have my graying strands and beard reduced to stubble.  I’m asking friends, relatives, and neighbors for $100 or more each to support research into fighting the cancer enemy of children as they support my shaven head.  Our local goal this year is $100,000.  The national goal is $20,000,000.  Without government intervention.  For the kids!

Are you mad enough to fight?  Are you willing to fight with your time?  With your energy?  With your wallet?   Maybe even with your hair?  It will grow back.  Yes, you can help.  And if you help, you will feel very good about it.  Visit the website at www.stbaldricks.org. Volunteer in this year’s Greenville St Baldrick’s Festival at Larkins On the River March 17, to be a shavee, to be a barber, to organize a team of shavees and supporters where you work, to donate toward a shavee’s experience, to become a corporate sponsor, or to help execute the festival.  Or if you prefer, call 967-4585, our local coordinator, to talk about how you would like to fight.

Yes, cancer is a bummer.  But also a challenge.  To us adults.  We can do more than cry.  We can fight.  For the children.  Let’s do it.

PS: If you are willing to contribute to the cause of childhood cancer research, go to my page. Checks, credit cards or cash is acceptable.

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