Wednesday, September 15, 2010


I don't think the American Cancer Society should ever send out an e-mail entitled "Come see what we are up to!"

I know of course that non-profit organizations have to disclose their financials to donors and/or potential donors (in my case, very potential, because I'm the only charity case I can afford right now). Still, I feel like other titles would have been more apropos. Like "An update from the American Cancer Society" or "Donate today, and God may not give you cancer later."

My talents are obviously being wasted in the legal field.

It was just the weird playfulness of it. I couldn't bear to actually read the email before sending it swirling into the infinity of spam, because it would've probably ruined the following vision that its title conjured up.

Scene: A cancer ward. Lots of bald suffering patients around hooked up to tubes with that despondent resigned look like Emma Thompson in "Wit" (which, by the way, convinced me if I ever have Stage IV or above cancer I will promptly off myself - and I'm pretty sure that was actually the message behind the whole thing).

In comes the American Cancer Society, except they are all dressed up in clown outfits, and as Disney characters, and they have cake! And balloons! And someone puts on "YMCA" and suddenly everyone's doing it, everyone's dancing the YMCA, even those that can barely move. And while this brief happy interlude is occuring, a professional photographer takes a few choice shots of the temporary hopeful, cheerful patients - their hands in the air, their faces bright and rosy, their hospital gowns not awkwardly exposing everything.

And then the song finishes. "Got what you need?" asks one of the clowns. The photographer nods his head and gives the "let's go" signal. The American Cancer Society leaves as quickly as they came in, leaving only crumbs of cake and a stray balloon with the random message of "It's a Boy!".

A cavalcade of those photos can be the only explanation for the American Cancer Society wanting you to see "what it's been up to." The American Cancer Society knows how to party, and it wants you to get down (no pun intended) and give them some money already.

And if that is not what the body of that message contained, I still have my dreams.


steetoa said...

I find your description of a "cancer unit" pretty far-off, at least compared to where I work. :) I think the best part about working with oncology patients is that I see all spectrums - recent diagnosis, mid-treatment, and the more obvious end of life. But as far as health care goes, there's tons of $ pumped into oncology research/meds so at least it's better-funded than, say, orthopedics or med-surg.

Star Kicker said...

You're right of course. But then the exploitation angle wouldn't be as effective. Artistic license here, beeotch!