Thursday, September 4, 2014

The ALS ice bucket challenge, Think Pink, and Melanoma...closer to free!!!!

     Unless you've been living under a rock, you've heard of the ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) ice bucket challenge to benefit the ALS Association - working to raise awareness, education and research for Lou Gehrig's Disease.  Think "Tuesdays with Morrie."  ALS is a disease that currently has no treatment other than supportive care for a slow and certain decline with gradual loss of muscle function causing cessation of movement and ability for self care, to lack of speech and respiration.  Surely one of the cruelest diseases out there in a sea of many nasty ones.  At any rate, the ice bucket challenge, in which participants dump a bucket of ice water over their heads via a video posted on various social media outlets, make a donation, and challenge friends to do the same, has become a cultural phenom embraced by celebrities and regular folks alike.  I fear many have used the ploy to simply have something cool to post on Face Book without offering up the donation, but plenty have given and given big! The ALS Association reports that they have acquired more than 94 million dollars this past August, compared to only 3 million in August of the prior year.  The president and CEO has vowed to look at the amazing windfall carefully and find ways to make it really work for those suffering.  Charity Navigator, an organization that evaluates charities, has given the ALS Association a rating of 4 out of 4 stars with specific kudos for accountability and transparency, and report that 72.4% of donated dollars go directly to research and education.

     Then there's ~ PINK!  The pink ribbon, symbol for breast cancer awareness, began with the Susan G Komen Foundation in the fall of 1991, as a derivative of the red ribbon campaign for AID's awareness that was having success at that time.  Because the pink ribbon and pink product packaging has become so ubiquitous and has been put to questionable use by companies and business seeking to promote their products without the avowed support to breast cancer programs and agencies, criticism and organizations like "Think before you Pink" have developed.  Such organizations encourage shoppers to check to see how much of the "pink" companies' proceeds really go to breast cancer programs, how that program uses those funds, and to find out if the company has actually "capped" the funds they will donate.  There is a huckster in every crowd, but overall, no one can deny the good the PINK campaign has done to raise breast cancer awareness, take away the stigma, find new and better treatments, minimize suffering, and offer real options to patients that can often result in cures!!!

     So....what has all this to do with melanoma?  Sadly, jealousy over PINK has been a long simmering ugliness that occasionally rears its head on various melanoma forums and discussion boards.  "We deserve the kind of funding and attention that PINK for breast cancer does!"  "Why don't we have PINK?"  When I was first exposed to this kind of thinking, I was shocked!  Wow!  You really begrudge folks getting help for a horrible disease process just cause you have a horrible disease yourself????  It is not an attitude of the majority by any means.  And, I'm sure some just mean that they wish things were better for melanoma suffers rather than the broader desire that some are very clear about ~ "Melanoma is worse and we deserve the money/help/cure/research more than THEY do!"  Anyhow, I learned to tune it out...pretend it was not there. we go again.  Probably the same bitter folks....I haven't bothered to research it....have been irritated to the point of turning into a big green goose of fury over the success the ice bucket challenge has brought ALS.  Seriously people.  There is more than enough misery to go around.  More than enough smarts and money to help everyone, too....if we just would.

    All of this to explain why I was so heartened to see this posted by Cathy Baker....and I have her permission to share it with you:
And this????  This is just awesome!!!

Closer to Free...ALL cancer survivors FLASH MOB celebration

Isn't that the truth? We've all got more than enough troubles  Let's focus on the good!!! - c


  1. The artwork by Cathy is fabulous! Can we get it as a decal or something? The flash mob was awesome too! Remember when you first introduced me to flash mobs? We watched a ton of them, and I've loved them ever since!

    1. A decal WOULD be cool, wouldn't it???? Yes, good times at La Quinta!!! Hee hee!

  2. Love this! My grandmother has leukemia and diabetes, so of course we want support for all diseases. So glad to see someone supporting them all. And I'm always up for a good musical number!

    1. Music and dance can make anything better, can't it?? Yes....let's make LIFE better for every BODY!!!!