We realize we have literally hundreds of PAC2 new members, actually, pretty much EVERYONE is a new member! We just wanted to summarize the idea that got this site started, what we think we should try to accomplish and why......
#1 - AJs Dad got started with the Petition after he saw a Diane Sawyer interview on 20/20 with Randy Pausch, who was living life with cancer. He recently passed away. An extraordinary man, he told his views on live and death. And the world was taken with it. The book advertised during the show rose to #1 on Amazon and stayed there for months. Well, after 8 months on a pediatric cancer floor, he KNEW our kids stories were just as good, and they were just as deserving of the attention.
#2 - So in May 2008, he started the Petition to Raise Awareness of Childhood Cancer. The idea was to collect 1,000,000 signatures and FedX these signatures in boxes to ABC, NBC, CBS and implore them to create a special SOLELY on childhood cancer. The idea included creating a book containing the stories from the petition signers, with all proceeds to go to CureSearch. More on CureSearch later if you are not familiar with them.
#3 - As the Petition started growing, Lori contacted him, and offered assistance. (God knows he needed it!) As we looked at the petition, we saw how people just wanted to share their stories and how many were supporting this cause or that cause, were part of this group or that group. Or had their own foundation going.
#4 - We researched reports on childhood cancer. Reports about the problems. Why it is under-funded and under-publicized. We read reports by the National Academy of Sciences, the International Confederation of Childhood Cancer Parent Organizations, the American Association for Cancer Research, CURE Magazine. Dug into the statistics from the National Cancer Institute and the American Cancer Society and saw where the money goes. We must have gone to a 1000 websites about childhood cancer. We spoke to doctors, CureSearch, Curing Children's Cancer Fund and parents.
#5 - And we came to a conclusion. That there a literally thousands of organizations and people fighting for this cause. That the problem is they are all voices in the wilderness, all screaming, but at different times and in different places. Some are yelling "save me" and some are yelling "help the kids". So, to the the media, legislators and corporations, it's a mixed message that is hard to understand, and easy to ignore because it's inconvenient and not too loud. We are all trying to spell out S-O-S but its comes out as X-C-P! So the resulting funding and publicity is mixed bag too!
It was clear to us that we needed to all YELL the same thing together; as ONE VOICE UNITED, fighting for ALL these wonderful childhood cancer organizations.
#6 - We shared dozens of emails on a daily basis. Bouncing these concepts and ideas back and forth. Lori introduced the "paper petition". But, we wanted more, we wanted something where people could come together. Share ideas. Share information. Support and team up on stuff. And we worked to create PAC2 Version 1.0. It was painfully difficult to use, you V1.0 veterans will attest to that. But, we got 200 people to join and participate, so the desire to be part of something was apparent. So we went back to the drawing board and finally settled on this format for the new site. Seems to be working. Much to organize, format this and that, but the basic layout works.
#7 - So, the concept. Create a space for people; parents, family, friends, kids, survivors, any concerned citizen, to collaborate. To share and fight together. To put aside our differences in the specific type of childhood cancer we hate, set aside our differences in geography and which hospital we support, set aside our egos about our own fundraising efforts; in fact use PAC2 to publicize & support them. To become one loud voice. Where we can each contribute ideas and let the cream rise to the top. To fight for the same goals. For the kids.
#1 - Cure childhood cancer. We could stop there, but you know us better than that by now. Childhood cancer can be cured in our lifetime with more research. More research can be achieved with more awareness and funding for the Children's Oncology Group (COG), 7,500 childhood cancer experts at 200 hospitals and research facilities. We bet your child was treated at a COG member hospital. COG members have been the primary innovators in new treatments for children with cancer. What COG can accomplish is only limited by funding.
#2 - So what helps raise funding? We think the answer is to raise awareness. American's don't want to hear the facts about childhood cancer, but once they do, the money will flow. So how can PAC2 best help in raising awareness?
a - We can continue to grow and become a larger voice. We do this through your efforts.
b - We can continue to get signatures on the Petition to Cure Childhood Cancer. The Petition represents a very serious statement on the state of childhood cancer and the desire for a cure. And it's not just the signatures, it's the stories contained there in. We seriously doubt that so many childhood cancer stories have ever been contained in one document anywhere, anytime. It can be quite a compelling pitch to the media.
c - We support lobbying and letter writing efforts to Congress. Many of you have already done this for years, traveling to Washington for Reach the Day, and you can attest that this works.
We, PAC2, consist of parents, friends and family, parent led organizations and other concerned people. We provide and get support to and from childhood cancer organizations. We will assist them lobbying legislators and corporations and media.
a - We already talked about lobbying Congress. We will try to help lobby for providing tax breaks and royalty incentives to pharmaceutical companies to encourage research on new pediatric drugs, in addition to direct governmental funding.
b - The media is an area where, again, the sheer size of PAC2 will matter. The number of signatures on the Petition will matter. But we CAN reach the right people. We can have a Stand Up 2 Childhood Cancer show. A 20/20 special with Diane Sawyer. We have to be patient and do our part to grow. Believe me I know the frustration. You just have to look to the kids once and awhile to re-charge your batteries.
c - But once the awareness starts, like we described in the "childhood cancer, another inconvenient truth" post, we believe the pressure will be on corporations to help fund a cure for childhood cancer. It can become the new "Green!". And this is where the money is. You don't think the $100 million that Stand Up 2 Cancer raised came from phone calls from me and you do you? Of course not, they had huge corporate sponsorship. And the money available dwarfs what we can expect from Congress. That's the yellow funnel with $$$$$$ to a CURE.
d - We saved the best for last. Those 46 kids in the bottom right. Ultimately, that's where everything flows. That's the real "background" and "goals" of PAC2. To drop it from 46 to 0.
AJs Dad and Lori
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