Friday, August 12, 2011


WORLDWIDE – I  was visiting a friend's breast cancer foundation facebook site yesterday; she has asked me to critique it from the rare perspective of both patient and professional. The review was great; I love what she is putting out there, how she’s saying it, and the number of people already interested in helping her cause. I was immediately drawn to the comments, most of which were from people desperate to help in any capacity.

"Please tell me what we can do to help," "please connect me with someone who needs a ride to treatment," "please let me know if someone needs my services for no cost," etc. I see people who are quite focused on their donations ("I only want mine to go to research, period." "I only want to help women who need money for travel expenses." Things like that.) and I also see quite the opposite. ("I don’t even know what to do or how to help, but my best friend was just diagnosed, and now I’m totally on fire for this cause.")

And I like all of these types of donors. Love, actually.

There are so many resources out there, and it seems to be overwhelming for most people when they want to dip their toes in the "giving pool." "Whom do I turn to if I just want to make sure patients get a ride to treatments?" "Whom should I send a check for wig donations?" I actually talked on the phone for an hour after my speaking engagement yesterday with a woman who had no idea where to turn for assistance, and that was followed that evening with someone who wanted to donate money for services. 

We are all out there, a big group of people who want to help. We are also out there, a big group of people in need of that help. Connecting the two seems to be an intricate dance! My suggestion is based solely on reputation. ONLY ONLY ONLY donate to a group that you know funnels the dollars where you want them to go. That includes products  don’t just shell out cash for a pink ribbon product unless the tag tells you what you need to know. Does it tell you where the money is going? If not, move on and  buy something else. Go to local cancer centers and hospitals – whether you are a patient or donor, they can give you a list of all local service providers that will dispense help and help you to dispense help on your own. 

Here’s the key, in my humble opinion. DO SOMETHING. JUST DO. Get out there and find your cause, your passion, a spot for your commitment. Nothing is too small, nothing will go unnoticed. Foundations, service providers, etc. don’t just need cash, you know. We need donations of things like hotel points, airline miles, rental car points, volunteer time, you name it! (Seriously, we do. Email me at if you want to donate anything listed (or something else) to the Foundation.  

Jump on board and give us a hand, we fundraisers. Jump on board and give us a hand, we patients. Just jump. :)

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