Last month was Breast Cancer Awareness month and for the past few years I have changed the color scheme of the site to pink and written a small post on why we should bring awareness and how to donate, usually to the Susan G. Komen foundation. But things have changed since then. The Susan G. Komen foundation has had some changes in policies that I personally don’t agree with. Another issue was, just adding to a noise. Would my single post even make a dent in the ever increasing “noise” in social media sites?
It was also brought to my attention that it might have been sexist that as a man I was doing something that is mostly a woman issue. But I do because even though it’s a specific type of cancer I think finding a cure for it is something that I truly believe in.
While genetically (thanks to 23andme for the info) I am not a carrier of the a modified gene for breast cancer my mom had a lump removed a few years back. Early detetion is critical this for type of cancer and why I’m a supported of Planned Parenthood.
So… Why no pink?
I decide to raise funds myself. The profits of October and November on the stock market were going to be donated to two Cancer charities. One for breast cancer and the other for prostate cancer, (November or Movember is a charity that raises awareness with moustaches for male health issue such as testicular and prostate cancer) and then Sandy hit the North East.
There was no doubt in my mind that I was going to be helping the relief efforts. I donated to the Red Cross as soon as I could, but wanted to do more. I made a bigger effort in maximizing profits. Since then I have been able to doubled what my original projections where going to be. The whole pot will be split 3 three ways.
Even though I was doing all of this I still wanted to do more. Living on the west coast, I saw the hurricane happen, saw pictures of the destruction that was left behind. Places I have been to are no longer there. In the following days decided to volunteer. This past weekend I cashed in flier miles and traveled to New York and met ups with several people at the Red Cross of New York. There donated blood before heading out to Staten Island to help out the relief efforts.
Did I do it because I’m better than others? No… I did because I wanted to. New York and the surrounding area was where I lived for apart of my life, it holds a dear part in my heart and visit it frequently. While I live in Los Angeles, I am a citizen of the world and would do the same anywhere else if anything of this magnitude would happen. (I also did something similar last year for the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami relief efforts.) And after couple of weeks the conversation is no longer about these places that were affected, but the people there still need to rebuild. It will take time, its not an over night thing. The media attention has faded but there are still people without electricity, there are those that lost everything.
I did the bare minimum and in the coming year I will try to donate as much as I can, be it time or money.
If you are inclined you can donate to the Red Cross.