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Is This Really "Fighting Cancer"?

Bumbaclat

TRIBE Member
A friend sent me an invite to "an evening to fight cancer". You go to some bar. There is a band. You can/are supposed to make a donation. A portion of the bar sales go to "fight cancer". This is all inspired by some friend of theirs that has cancer. If you read their whole shtick all the way to the bottom you'll find out two things
1. 100% of the money raised is going to pay this girl's rent and bills as she is in arrears from her cancer treatment.
2. The only "cancer fighting" is done through raising awareness.

Does this seem dishonest? What does my paying a stranger's cell phone bill have to do with furthering the cause of "fighting cancer". Does raising awareness fight cancer? Even the most dim-witted, slobbering fool is aware of cancer.

If the flyer had been clear that the money was going to bills, not cancer research, I probably wouldn't be posting here now. I almost didn't post because part of me doesn't want to be some guy bitching on a message board about some girl's battle with cancer. But I guess I am.
 
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alexd

Administrator
Staff member
I think painting cement trucks pink to 'raise awareness' for cancer or to 'raise awareness' for the fight against cancer is a huge scam as well.
 

acheron

TRIBE Member
true... income replacement is a big part of what people suffering from debilitating diseases have to contend with aside from the disease itself. Lost wages, transportation costs, etc.
 
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alexd

Administrator
Staff member
OK, maybe I will step back and from my position on cancer girl by lumping her in with the bloated think campaign. At least the money in her case seems to be going to a tangible thing, her expenses while she fights cancer. Raising money to paint everything pink on the other hand....
 

Bass-Invader

TRIBE Member
this seems like one of those situations where you might want to consider being less pedantic about the precision of the event's name.
 

mudbunny

TRIBE Member
I don't know what the course of treatment is for this girl but most chemo, radiation and surgery is covered by OHIP. How do I know? I;m a cancer survivor myself. During my 2 year treatment I kept working and I led as normal lifestyle as possible. (despite the chemo brain side effects, occasional flu like symptoms are taken care by medication and hair eventually grows back)
Can't imagine what her circumstances are that she would need an individual fund raiser, except for personal reasons. Donor beware.
Some foundations for "cancer awareness and cancer research" are legit but many are not.

Interesting article about Lance and his foundation. A bit of a read, but it outlines several issues that are cropping up in all kinds of foundations and charities. It is even more interesting in light of how he is leveraging the Livestrong brand to hawk exercise equipment. I have tried to stay neutral about this guy, but there is so much not to like.

Lance Armstrong and Livestrong | Lance Armstrong | OutsideOnline.com
 

Bumbaclat

TRIBE Member
this seems like one of those situations where you might want to consider being less pedantic about the precision of the event's name.

I understand that some people endure financial hardship associated with cancer (mudbunny is an example of somebody who did not). The part that I feel is dishonest is burying the fact that the money is for bill paying. Imagine two people out on a street corner, both asking for donations. One is asking for donations to fund cancer research. The other is asking for donations to pay a bill while they are in cancer treatment. Who is going to have 3 x the amount of donations at the end of the day? This isn't hard to figure out and that is why the true nature of the fund raising was buried and obscured. It is a harder sell, even if it is a legitimate cause.
 
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acheron

TRIBE Member
Part of what the Canadian Cancer Society does is help people do just that - help pay their bills while they're undergoing Cancer treatment. Like it or not there are practical realities that have to be dealt with along with the disease itself. All the mundane shit that goes on in people's lives doesn't stop once you get Cancer, you still have to deal with that AND Cancer on top of it.

Obviously this is a difficult sell for some donors so the charities don't talk about that part of their work much... they probably describe it as "getting your life on track" or some other euphemism.
 

MoFo

TRIBE Member
I don't see the problem. You know what it's about. So she marketed it differently but you still figured it out by reading what is on the flyer.

We give money to families whose houses burn down or trust funds for children who have lost their parents. Where does that money go? Tuition, clothes, video games, food, whatever they want to do with that money etc...

I'd rather know my money is going to paying bills than her buying new makeup or going to Aruba.
 

janiecakes

TRIBE Member
Also, what cancer treatments aren't covered by OHIP?

Newer drugs, experimental drugs, procedures performed at one american hospital vs. another american hospital, etc. etc.

Sometimes a drug is covered in one province and not in another. People fight with OHIP for coverage all the time.
 
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MoFo

TRIBE Member
Newer drugs, experimental drugs, procedures performed at one american hospital vs. another american hospital, etc. etc.

Sometimes a drug is covered in one province and not in another. People fight with OHIP for coverage all the time.

That's what I figured. I'd be heading down to the US too if I had to.

Well, I don't really see the problem.
 
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JEMZ

TRIBE Member
Look, I don't think there is anything wrong with you posting this.

There used to be a time when the internet was a place to exchange ideas and people actually listened to each other and their opinions in hopes of possibly understanding each other (in my opinion). Now most people would never post what you did is the web has become little more than a place for people to flame each other and hopefully create a new meme that can go viral through 4Chan.

That being said, this girl's mental health will help her physical health have a chance of improving and not being in debt will certainly help her mental health. So I don't see have a problem with the ad personally.
 

MoFo

TRIBE Member
Is there really a correlation between mental health and cancer?
I think it's assumed by most people: how we dote on people who are sick and think that them being positive about something will somehow make them better when the answer is the right treatments, catching it early and prevention. But the whole "fighting" cancer thing seems like it's more of a euphemism, no?

Like would people have more empathy and sympathy for someone if they were not fighting the disease? The semantics always kinda made me feel like a douche. To each their own I guess.
 

JEMZ

TRIBE Member
Is there really a correlation between mental health and cancer?

I think it is a lot easier to concentrate on pain management and to cope with a lot of the other issues that come along with cancer when one is not distracted by other hardships at hand. In watching cancer deteriorate my father, I witnessed massive shifts in his physical condition due to external stresses and can only imagine the threat of losing one's living space due to financial hardship would only compound physical stress. But I only play a doctor on TV.
 

lucky1

TRIBE Member
Here is a synopsis of cancer treatment:

When I was diagnosed with cancer I could not stand up without fainting. (due to bone marrow failure). I couldn't eat or I'd puke, I was admitted to the hospital for a while for many, many tests, and finally discharged myself early, then I was so weak I spent days sleeping on my couch.

Then you start chemo, and you have like two or three treatment days for three week in a row then a week off. At chemo most of the day you are kept waiting. Waiting for your bloodwork to see if you have enough white count to get more chemo, then you wait for them to mix up the drug in the pharmacy to your specifics, then you sit in the chair and wait for the infusion IV – sometimes for hours. So the 9am appointment time is more like 11:30 (if you are lucky, sometimes more like 1pm before they infuse you). By the time you get home and you feel like puking / fainting again, all you can do is lay on the couch. Times this by how ever many "cycles" the have you on (5 or 6 for me) and after that you are ready for the next stage in your treatment, bone marrow transplant.

In between you are seeing specialist after specialist to make sure the cancer has not affected other areas. Usually along the way you unfortunately develop and infection and either get admitted to the hospital or put on more powerful antibiotics since your immune system is so compromised from chemo you can fight a cold and get pneumonia.

I joked going to appointments was my new full time job!

Bone marrow transplant kills your bone marrow, and then you seed a new immune system from stem cells (donor). This is really a fancy way of saying they want to give you a strong enough dose of chemo that could nearly kill you, but then bring you back with the donor stem cells. Pretty wild. Again, the puking, fainting feeling lasts for weeks, and not to mention all you mucus membranes are essentially burned and blistered. Eating is pretty much out of the question, your stomach feels awful any way. Everything tastes strange since your taste buds are burned. Again infections can be a big issue, you need to wear a mask and stay home to avoid public places (like work) so you don’t pick up bugs. After a few months you know if the transplant “grafted” or not if you immune white count comes back. (this can take a while, like several months)

Working is pretty much out of the question. If you are lucky you have work sick benefits. (I am lucky). If you are like a lot of our generation you don’t. EI pays only a limited number of weeks of sick benefits. Once it runs out what do you do? Maybe if you are lucky your friends put on a fundraiser for you so you can afford to pay your rent, buy healthy groceries etc. Many young people have to move back in with parents, quit their jobs.

I came back to work over a year after my diagnosis. I’m still on a modified plan. I still have cancer, in my case incurable, but am in remission and making the most of.


One last thing! (sorry long post) Drugs can be very, very expensive (10’s of thousands of dollars) many not covered by Ohip. Mostly covered are IV type meds, given in hospital. But many new chemo type drugs are pills you take at home. These are not covered. Since the patient takes them at home. The cheom I had, even though it was IV in a hospital was not covered for front line treatment, only for relapse, but the hospital and drug company funded it on compassionate grounds since it is so effective they didn't want me to have to wait until I relapses. This treatment would have cost $40 000 a month.
 

workdowntown

TRIBE Member
Is there really a correlation between mental health and cancer?
I think it's assumed by most people: how we dote on people who are sick and think that them being positive about something will somehow make them better when the answer is the right treatments, catching it early and prevention. But the whole "fighting" cancer thing seems like it's more of a euphemism, no?

Like would people have more empathy and sympathy for someone if they were not fighting the disease? The semantics always kinda made me feel like a douche. To each their own I guess.

Yeah I hated the pity party shit tbh and was always trying to crack jokes and whatnot to lighten people the fuck up but everyone's different in their response to the condition. Some people need that level of empathy/sympathy/pity.
 
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