- 96% of all clothing sold is for adults.
- 96% of all breakfast cereals are consumed by adults.
- 96% of all bicycle helmets are worn by adults.
- 96% of all cancer research conducted by the National Cancer Institute is for adults.
- 96% of all lunch boxes are carried by adults.
- 96% of all crayons and finger paints are used by adult artists.
If you doubt any of these statements, you are correct to do so because all of the above statements are false, except for one. Care to guess which one is true?
The gold ribbon is the primary symbol used to promote Childhood Cancer awareness. In the past, I have spent a lot of time and effort to promote the use of the ribbon and have spent hundreds of dollars passing them out in September, National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. I have been active in promoting the ribbon on Wednesdays to increase awareness during the year. I believe the ribbon is a good idea, but after a couple of years, I am beginning to believe it to be a very passive and possibly a rather ineffective way to promote awareness. It’s pretty and it is fashioned just like the famous pink breast cancer ribbon. When I wear my ribbon, I get very few people to ask me what it is for and sometimes, because of my age, I wonder if people think that I trying to promote breast cancer awareness for grandmothers. I’m thinking that we may need a more direct, in your face, approach to promoting childhood cancer awareness than just a lone gold ribbon.
There are plenty of things that make all of us angry and very non-passive when it comes to childhood cancer. NCI only spending 4% of it’s research budget on childhood cancer is one that makes me angry. Every time I bring up the subject with people involved with cancer, there is always someone who wants to explain how the National Cancer Institute apportions it’s money. They want to justify it by using charts, graphs, news articles and such to show the reason behind it. My response is always the same. In my best, raised “grandfather’s voice”, I say, “I DON’T GIVE A DAMN!” I could care less how they figure it! You must admit, 96% for adults is just WRONG! Children command a much bigger slice of my life than a measly 4%. I believe that anyone who has or ever had children would want to make sacrifices for them, especially when it comes to research.
To improve childhood cancer awareness, I think we should concentrate on the things that make us “mad as hell!” Put a spotlight on things like NCI’s dumb-ass budget, the American Cancer Society’s lack of action related to childhood cancer, the fact that seven kids continue to die each and every day, only two new drugs have been developed since the FDA was formed way back when I was in the first grade. You know the “hot button” issues that make you and the rest of us mad. I think it’s time to push other people’s buttons for a change and by doing so, enroll them in our efforts to end childhood cancer.
When we wear a gold ribbon, why not back it up with a button that will cause those that see it to ask questions? Once they ask about the button, you can jump in and start creating lots of awareness. Let’s make buttons on the stuff that makes us mad as hell. I bet we can make others mad enough to help us and create enough adverse public opinion to shame certain people into allocating more money for children’s cancer research.
Should we push buttons? Let me know your thoughts…