I’m always a sucker for a good benefit. I tend to get a little sappy when celebrities get together to raise money for any kind of disaster relief or cause. I freely admit that no matter how financially strapped I may be, I always manage to scrape together $10 bucks when the celebrities tell me I should. Well, often times the causes are worthy ones, like Katrina relief, 9/11, Haiti and of course the never-ending fight against poverty, AIDS, etc.
The thing is, most of the time, I have only empathy for the people that money is being raised to help. I can only imagine what it would be like to lose my husband in 9/11, my home and family in Katrina, or what it must be like to be an orphan in Africa whose entire family has succumbed to AIDS. My heart goes out to people who have lived out these horrific tales of survival and managed to come out the other side. How can you not give money to causes like that?
This time though, its different. This time the cause isn’t just something other people are going through. It’s something that just two short years ago was a focal point in my life. It’s cancer. And it’s kills 1,500 Americans every single day. According to statistics all of you reading this will either have cancer or someone close to you will get cancer. This is not a random act of terrorism or a disease that can be prevented with education, or a horrific act of nature that no one can ever see coming.
Cancer knows no geography, no race, no gender, no social status. It affects everybody. It affected me in April of 2008 when my dad was diagnosed with the disease. By the grace of God, amazing doctors and researchers, and a long and painful treatment my dad is healthy. For now. Because as anyone who has dealt with cancer knows, it will be years before he is given the official “all clear.” There is always the very real chance that the cancer can come back in that time.
What happens if his cancer comes back? Well, that my friends, is up to you. You see funding for cancer research has hit an all time low. Everyday funding is being pulled from programs that are on the verge of making major breakthroughs in cancer research. It’s up to all of us to replace that lost funding and help researchers finish the job that they have started, the job of ending cancer.
Normally this is the place where I get off my soapbox, but not today. Today I am going to stay here on this soapbox and hope that each and every one of you reading this will take a moment and donate a dollar. If all of us could stand up and throw one dollar into a bucket, we would be protecting our own families. Go to iTunes and download a song, that’s all. Or visit http://www.standup2cancer.org and launch a star in the name of someone you love. It only costs a dollar. A dollar to help save the life of someone you love is a pretty small price.
I can tell you first hand, a dollar isn’t anywhere near enough what I’d be willing to pay to ensure my dad stays cancer free. And he’s who I’m standing up for. Who are you going to stand up for?
The end of cancer begins, with you.
Tune in tonight for the Stand Up To Cancer benefit which will air on ABC, CBS and NBC. The event will also be simulcast commercial-free on FOX, Bio, Current TV, Discovery Health, E!, G4, HBO, HBO Latino, MLB Network, mun2, Showtime, Smithsonian Channel, The Style Network, TV One, VH1 and the Armed Forces Network. It will be aired in 195 countries and begins at 8PM EST.