The "Hotel Melanoma" moniker is a metaphor for living with my particular brand of cancer. Except for those lucky few of us deemed "cured", all we cancer survivors are guests of one of the many, many branded hotels in the "Hotel Carcinoma" chain. We can check out any time we like, but we can never leave. Meanwhile, let's be livin' it up; and please support cancer education, prevention, and treatment research.

Tutu Brothers

Monday, May 2, 2011

Climbing Out of Our Silos

After checking into The Hotel Carcinoma, we quite naturally tend to become quite engrossed in “our” cancer. If we’re fortunate to find ourselves well enough to get involved in cancer education, prevention and fundraising efforts, those efforts are almost always focused on our favorite cancer brand. Just look at me, for example. I’d have to plead nolo contendere to the charge that my little campaign has thus far been pretty selfish and self-centered. I could’ve named this blog “Welcome to The Hotel Carcinoma”, but I didn’t, and I often grumble about the fact that “my" cancer doesn’t get as much attention as others.

Something happened last week that makes me wonder whether I ought to climb out of my silo. I had the privilege of meeting a local family whose members are looking into starting a cancer nonprofit. Shortly after the father was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2007, the nine-year-old daughter started a fundraising project called “Mason’s Wish” with a simple and quite ecumenical mission: “working to raise funds to support cancer research for hope in a cure”. Not just her dad’s cancer, but all cancers. To date, Mason’s Wish has raised over $30,000, mostly by selling things like scented candles and t-shirts, and donated the money to various cancer research organizations including a center for basic cancer research at mom and dad’s alma mater, Kansas State University. It bears repeating: not just her dad’s cancer, but all cancers. Please visit her website and check it out:

Maybe “my” Melanoma Awareness Month is a good time for this old dog to try to learn some new tricks from a very inspiring young lady.

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