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Thursday, August 7, 2008

Suffer the Little Children (Non-Theatre- Related Rant)

I turned on the T.V. the other day at one of those times that most networks figure not enough people are watching to bother showing a rerun of "Reba," so they sell the time to some other organization. This is often when we find ourselves being offered some "fantastic" item at a "low, low, price" like a kitchen knife set that can cut through a can. (Have any of you ever needed to cut through a can? Just curious. I haven't.)
Well, on this particular day, the hour was devoted to fund-raising for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
Those of you who have been reading this blog since the beginning know that the one and only real soft-spot in this old wolf's tough hide has to do with kids.
Needless to say, about ten minutes into the program I was a bit of a wreck. It doesn't happen very often, but it does happen. (The end of Con Air tears me up, too. Yeah, shut up.)
I watched a lot of stories of kids who were battling horrible, relentless diseases, but still managed to be all smiles. Some of the battles had happy endings. Some, not so much.
As the program went on, I found myself getting angrier and angrier.
How have we not beaten these cancers yet? Why are these kids still suffering?
We can make sure that 60-year-old man can get a four-hour erection! We can clear up Jessica Simpson's acne! We can increase breast size and penis size (potentially, in the same individual)! We can make a birth control pill that will give you softer skin! We can make a phone that you can talk on while driving, equipped with a camera so you can take pictures of the accident you caused while talking on the phone!
Congress enacted a law that requires all television stations to switch to a digital signal by 2009, because God forbid anyone should have to watch "Super Nanny" in anything other than HD!
And yet, there are still children dying from diseases that killed children fifty years ago!
What the hell are we doing?!! How are these things the priority, but children with cancer are not?
Now, there is some good news here. Cancer research, in which St. Jude's has been a leader, has increased cancer survival rates to as much as 95% in some cases.
But not in all cases, and the downside of even a 95% survival rate is a 5% non-survival rate. Non-survival. As in dead. Dead kids. Haven't thought about it like that before, have you?
Maybe you think I should sugarcoat that rather than being so blunt. Maybe you forgot whose blog you were reading.
The point is that more work needs to be done and more help is needed, and by help I mean money. There are a lot of ways to give money to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. You can just send money outright. You can become a Partner in Hope and give on a monthly basis. You can even go to the online catalog and buy clothes, toys, books, DVDs, stationery, and all sorts of things -- all of which go to supporting this hospital that provides hope, comfort, and often even cures for kids living with cancer.
You don't have to be independently wealthy to help in the fight against cancer. It's a numbers game. A few people can give a lot or a lot of people can give a little. It works out the same.
Rather than buying that seventeenth purse to hang in your closet or throwing fifty bucks into that fantasy football pool at work, why don't you put the money instead where it can actually do some good?
Now, I don't speak on behalf of St. Jude Children's Hospital in any sort of officially capacity. I'm not sure that they would like my style. If I've said anything here that has irritated or offended you, then be irritated or offended at me. Not at St. Jude's.
Send the nasty e-mails to me. Send the money to St. Jude's.
Spend a little time perusing their website. See if you don't see an organization worthy of your support.

And for those of you who doubt me about Con Air:

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