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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

A Handful of Change

Fifty cents is not worth very much these days. Its nearly impossible to find a candy bar that cheap at a 7/11 and it wouldn't even get most people to buy a $10 item if it was only 50 cents off. This month was my sons 5th birthday, and he really wanted some coins, so I gave him two quarters. You wouldn't have guessed the first place he wanted to spend his money was the "Dollar Store". Unfortunately he would have been very disappointed if I told him he would have to wait until his 6th birthday to get two more quarters to be able to buy the $1 treasure he had been waiting for all year.
Don't you think he would feel a little "short changed?" Literally?
To a 5 year old, two quarters are worth their weight in gold, but to an average adult who's annual wages are more than 10x that amount for every single hour they are still breathing, its hardly a handful of change worth holding onto.
Like most parents, we want to give our kids everything good in life, but who would actually want to switch roles with our kids and put them out there in the work force, commuting everyday in traffic jams, and taking heat from the boss for not pulling in the sales needed for the corporation to fatten their wallets and their waist lines. No one would want to put their kids through the torture we adults endure everyday. So why would we want to let our kids suffer from things that only people over 50 are supposed to suffer, as they prepare to meet their maker? There is no need to rush them into adult living that often feels that it is worth less than a pocket full of change.
Now imagine your child had a life threatening disease such as cancer and ask yourself, what is the world doing today to help over 13,500 kids that are diagnosed each year.
Here is a challenge for you: using the number 50, choose which one of these statements about the current state of pediatric cancer is true? (I'll give you 3 choices, and if you guess wrong you will have to change your profile picture to a Giraffe...ok I'm joking, but seriously...)
1 - Every year, only 50% of the funds raised by the American Cancer Society go to childhood cancer research.
2 - Every year the National Cancer Institute budget of $50 billion dollars, only gives 10% for childhood cancer research ($500 million)
3 - Every year there are 50% as many children's who die from cancer as there are with AIDS, diabetes and cystic fibrosis combined.
If you believe that any one of these are true, I challenge you to become more aware of the half truth's, or should I say, those that are less than 50% true at all, listed here.
Currently the ACS (American Cancer Society) gives less than 50%, more accurately an astounding 1% to pediatric cancer research. That doesn't make the NCI look any better because their budget is approximately only $5 billion, not $50 billion. Less than 10% of that goes to pediatric cancer research, again less than 50% which is only 3-4% of that $5,000,000,000! Finally, the mortality rate due to pediatric cancers, far outweigh the deaths of those in the combined categories of AIDS, diabetes AND cystic fibrosis!
To give you another perspective, I heard on the world news tonight that over 2000 American soldiers have been killed in the last 11 years of war, but the war on childhood cancer on American soil still claims the lives of over 2500, every single year! That is an average of 50 kids in ALL 50 states!
If you don't think 50 cents will matter, you better believe what really matters is that families can tuck their children in bed in their own rooms each night, rather then laying them in a miniature coffin 6 feet under the earth.
The next time you pull a handful of change out of your pocket, remember that in order to make change, you yourself will need to be the change for what matters most, our future generations.
If you are ready to make change, now that you are aware of the state of pediatric cancer, share a link to this blog or post a picture of a handful of change and include this link. Then watch this short film by the Truth 365 and take action before you hear about another child diagnosed with cancer, or worse.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qLnNyZclkDQ&feature=youtu.be