i reporter.....Childhood Cancer Awareness Day

no, not from Ike, not about what Sarah said or didn't say, or the train wreck. About standing in front of WalMart for 8 hours in the hot sun begging people to give to Alex's Lemonade Stand. From the front lines of getting money to cure childhood cancer. That's what I did on National Childhood Cancer Awareness Day.

If you haven't done it recently, I strongly suggest you do. It is an eye-opening experience. First of all, the people that organize and do the stands are amazing. Kids love to help. I was just a volunteer at a normal ALS stand at a small town in middle America in front of a Walmart. But of course, I couldn't keep my mouth shut and was hawking lemonade with the best of them shortly after arrival....."fighting childhood cancer one cup at at time"....."today is National Childhood Cancer Awareness day"...."help us cure childhood cancer".....etc, etc.

But the interesting thing is the reactions. Mind you, like we know, not many "outsiders" know. I used the "1 in 300 kids" line hundreds of times, and was mostly meet with blank stares, like they are thinking.....nah...not us. They tend to speed up, like it can't catch 'em....or the "46 kids diagnosed today, tomorrow and every day", and they shake their head, thinking, who is this guy and why is he telling me this? My favorite is the "support curing childhood cancer, get a cup of lemonade" and the "no thanks" reply. Unfortunately, we were not able to say "no thanks" when our number was called were we?

But, I also came away encouraged by the compassion shown by so many. I met a man who lost his 3 year old daughter 14 years ago and adopted a baby boy right after. We talked for 10 minutes and finally his son shows up. A big, handsome, strong 15 year old. Just like is supposed to be at my side. It as all I could do to give the young man a CureSearch bracelet and a hug and I had to walk away. Or the two grandparents of 7 that fought breast and colon cancer themselves. They could not believe my "lies, damned lies and statistics" rant, just saying, "that's not what we would want". Or the guy who just walked up, slapped a $20 in the jar and went and stood across the way from us, shaking his head.....must be an "insider". Several women with the Susan G Koman shirts came up, never just walked by....same thing for Relay for Life shirts. I guess once you know you know. Kids love to put a buck in the jar, even young adults, nurses without fail. Or the occasional Mom and Dad with 4 screaming kids, or Dad and son, or Mom and daughter, who would engage you in a brief conversation......who cared, showed compassion when you told them, even though you could tell it scared them to death.

All in all, a very energizing and rewarding experience. It shows that so many people are out there working to help, that there are so many people who don't know..........YET, but I came away reassured that they WILL care if given the AWARENESS. Several times, with the one's I could engage in conversation, I would say, "did you have any idea that 1 in 300 kids develops cancer?" and without fail the answer was NO. But they showed compassion once they did know. Sure, I got the "no thanks" to a "help us cure childhood cancer" shout-out, but we CAN NOT let that stop us. The cream WILL rise to the top, we just have to get ready to pour it. And when we DO....things will happen.

So that leads to my next middle column update tomorrow. We have so many new members, hell we are ALL new members! But I want to explain the background and concept behind PAC2, and will post it Sunday. Maybe you can read this to give you some idea of what to expect. Then we can all chat about it 9 PM ET Tuesday night.

(kinda funny story/state of the state statement...I of course proudly wore my Team Unite Childhood Cancer shirt. Went to Chili's for lunch. Left my cell phone there. Got home, called Chili's (you know the ones having events all month for Childhood Cancer/St. Judes) and asked if I left my phone. They go "were you the guy wearing the BREAST CANCER Awareness shirt?"...I yell "NO! I'm the guy wearing the CHILDHOOD CANCER AWARENESS SHIRT!".....and yeah, they had my phone)

AJs Dad

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Comment by Annmarie Campus on September 14, 2008 at 4:40pm
Hey Bob. Glad to hear you got a chance to participate in an event. As you know, I was one of those folks who did not know the statitics. But, even then I would not have walked past without contributing. I am doing what I can, but I wish I could have done more to raise awareness. I will continue doing what I can.

Annmarie
Comment by dari mcmanus on September 14, 2008 at 1:46pm
i forwarded "lies, damned lies and statistics" to every one i know.
we start now.
Comment by Angelina Lucero on September 14, 2008 at 2:17am
Amazing, simply amazing!
Up to a year ago I would have been one of those “no thank yous”, today I would give my left arm for the cause! I have slowly started a crusade for Childhood Cancer, one at a time!!

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