I am crazy about a cause. Unlike others who like to be involved and ‘give back’ because they feel it is the right thing to do, I have a personal stake in my cause. In fact, I founded my cause eight years ago when my then 7-year-old inspired me. My cause is childhood cancer and the Honeysuckle Foundation For Children with Cancer (www.honeysucklefoundation.org). I believe childhood cancer is one of the most unrecognized and under funded causes around. The people who start children’s cancer charities are parents like myself who do it as a testament to our children’s survival or those parents who tragically have lost a child. We ask our family, friends and neighbors to help and people rally around us. The charity takes off like a bolt of lightning filled with lots of volunteers and interest in what we do. Time however, kills our momentum and one by one our small charities die. We cannot compete with large-scale charities that have paid staffs, offices and celebrity endorsements. We work out of our homes, do our ‘volunteer’ work in the middle of the night and are the secretary, marketing person and chief cook and bottle washer all rolled into one. I know others who have founded pediatric cancer charities and the road we all travel is the same. We work to help kids with cancer today with the social and emotional aspect, trying to make life a little easier and bring some comfort and happiness into their lives. Tons of money is raised and then spent on research and I wonder for all those dollars how many patients battling cancer today are actually benefitting from that? One day I hope that the obstacles faced by small charities today will be easier to handle. I hope that pediatric cancer is obliterated from the face of the earth and therefore there is no need for childhood cancer charities. In the meantime however, I believe that it is the charities like the Honeysuckle Foundation who actually make a difference in the life of a child fighting for his or her life this moment and because of that, I will not stop fighting the uphill battle for survival.
The fact that you have raised and brought up the charity from your home shows how inspiring you guys are. Just because you can’t compete against the big boys, it doesn’t mean it’s not worth the effort. You are all doing a great job!
…..As I sit here writing this blog I cant believe that it has been a year since Alexs Lemonade Stand Foundation organized the first Childhood Cancer Charity Summit in our hometown of Philadelphia. On Monday October 19 2009 hosted by the Iron Matt Foundation we came together for our third face to face meeting for what is now known as Childhood Cancer Charities Unite C3U . 3rd Meeting of C3U in Hoboken NJBack in October of 2008 we held the first summit bringing together childhood cancer charities from across the country to brainstorm ways to find better treatments and ultimately curesNOW.
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