MAY DAY MAY DAY!
Quick Update: My MRI got pushed to next Wednesday May 8 at 9:20 AM…Thanks for your continued prayers and good vibes.
It’s May, so pull out your Grey. May is Brain Cancer Awareness month! This is the month when the brain cancer community rallies and shouts to the mountain tops about the need for research and more resources for those that suffer from the beast known as Brain Cancer. I had planned to go to DC this weekend to participate in the “Head to the Hill” gathering to advocate on behalf of the brain cancer community (there is also the Race for Hope walk/run in DC which is probably the biggest awareness event there is) but I am bummed to say that I’m not going to be able to make it. However, I will be participating in the local brain tumor conference here at UCLA.
One of the things I discovered when I was first diagnosed was that because brain cancer is one of the rarest forms of cancer there isn’t the awareness and support that it needs and deserves. It’s one of those unfortunate diseases where it takes either yourself or someone you care about deeply to get it in order for it to become “relevant”. This is why it would mean the world to me if you show your support proudly this month in any way that you can.
It was about a year ago when I wrote a note on Facebook (posted below) expressing my frustration with the lack of awareness and my passion for getting us closer to a cure (or at least more effective treatments). I wrote it in a moment of raw emotion as I was reeling from hearing about the passing of David Pearson, a young man who I had grown attached to through cyberspace (his Mom had been reading my blog). The note was shared about 800 times and because of it and this blog I’ve met several other awesome people who are shouting the very same rally cry. It makes me smile every time I see someone post something on Facebook/Twitter/etc about Brain Cancer awareness. That simple status update or article makes a difference and that’s what is so awesome about the time we live in. We can hold something in our hand and in a matter of seconds be furthering the cause of millions of people who have suffered at the hand of this disease. I feel so blessed to have my wits about me and I think it’s fitting that I will be ending my last round of Chemo during this important month. Thanks for being here with me still…and don’t forget to wear your grey for me!
Dear Human Beings,
Pardon my “passionate” language in this note but if you can please do me a favor, and send some love, good vibes, and prayers to Amanda Haddock and her family right now. Her 18 year old son David Pearson just passed me the torch to carry on his legacy of OBLITERATING THE SH** OUT OF BRAIN CANCER!!! By the way, there’s a lot that you can do other than just sending those (albeit comforting…but let’s be honest) intangible things. Actually the best thing that you can do is use your voice that has become so powerful in this day of social media and tell the world that you’re on board with the bold and tactical mission of OPERATION: “Annihilate Brain Cancer”. Honestly, if you truly care about good causes and people like myself who are dealing with this terrifying disease head on, then don’t be a timid jerk about it…Share this. Like this. Tweet it. Digg it. Pin it. Press it. Blog it.Whatever, I don’t care, just spread the word! I’m sick of losing fellow warriors like David, I’m sick of having to “grin and bear it” and act like I’m not scared out of my freakin’ mind every single day, and most of all I’m sick of people not knowing anything about this disease when it affects so many of us (and I know that I’m not alone in feeling this way). What’s it gonna take to make you spread the word?! Do we need to make a slick viral video and, just to be safe, throw in a couple cute kittens and laughing babies to make you care? Do we need to get some teeny bopper to wear some t-shirt on Letterman that says “OPERATION:ABC” to make you care?! Or are you like most of us where you have to have someone you care about get it, then suffer, then die?!
Two and a half months ago, The Invisible Children organization released a viral campaign and video that got 200 million views and now action is being taken to take down the leader of an “army” guilty of some of most disgusting and deplorable crimes in recent history (Invisible Children called it a social media experiment at the time). So here’s another experiment for you, for those of us who get Brain Cancer, the moment we get diagnosed we’re often told to just hang on and “live long enough” because a cure is just around the corner. Well a lot of us have lived long enough and there is still no cure. There are “treatments” available that usually include highly invasive surgery, high doses of radiation aimed directly at your head, and chemotheraphy, or in other words the aspects that are usually the hardest part of the disease to endure and don’t always work (in fact even after treatment, the chances of recurrence and eventual death are extremely high). Why did the Kony stuff make you feel so empowered to share the video with your friends? Was it the injustice? Was it because it involved kids? Well let me tell you something (and let me also emphasize that this is in no way intended to undermine the importance of stopping the atrocities in Uganda by capturing Kony) nobody knows what causes Brain Cancer and because it’s so “rare” there is not enough funding to figure out what the cause may be and what can be done to stop it. Brain Cancer kills, maims, and destroys way more lives than Kony ever has or ever will. In fact the exact amount of children that have been forced into slavery under Kony over the years is the exact number of people that will be diagnosed with Brain Cancer just this year alone. Where’s the justice in that? If it’s the kids you’re worried about, Pediatric Brain Cancer is far deadlier than any other form of Brain Cancer or even most Pediatric Cancers. Why is that not apalling to you especially if the cure is just around the corner? If posting a video can help bring a sick and twisted war criminal to justice then why can’t spreading this note bring a cure to one of the deadliest forms of Cancer (again, especially if the cure is “just around the corner”)? All I ask is that you take one second to stop updating your photo albums, baiting people into political discussions, or trying to start a Twitter feud with a celebrity and just repost/retweet/share this.
I don’t think the timing of David’s death is by accident either…this is, after all, “Brain Cancer Awareness Month”. I refuse to allow any more deaths to this awful disease go in vain. That’s why I’m not going to rest until I see this note becoming the next viral sensation (and trust me, you want me to rest because otherwise you will all be feeling the WRATH of my wife for keeping me up at night). I want to be getting phone calls next week from major news outlets desiring to do their part to expose this bullsh** disease and help us get closer to that cure that is “just around that corner”.
Sorry to come down on you so hard but I hope that you can understand my frustration. More importantly though, I hope that you can understand your power to influence others to create the changes needed in this world (if the Kony campaign is any indication of that power). This disease is crippling, painful, unjust, and sneaks up on you like the biggest fu***** coward there is.
(King) David, I am so thankful for Saints like you, man (as well as researchers, neurosurgeons, oncologists, and those that come along side each of us to help rid the world of Brain Cancer). We’re gonna carry out this mission for you, bud, and we’re gonna WIN! One day very soon we’re all gonna shout “Mission Accomplished” and realize that by doing the simple and monotonous thing of sharing this note (Welcome to the 21st Century), it not only led us to finding that cure that is “just around the corner” but it also led to breakthroughs in brain science that are gonna then lead researchers to a better understanding of all Cancers and degenerative diseases which will have a profound effect on all of us (because believe it or not we’re all going to have to deal head on with one or the other if progress doesn’t happen soon). Having said that, I am grateful though that you got to graduate and go to prom before you passed the torch. Just know that the torch you passed will always shine brightly because as long as there is injustice and disease in this world, those of us with compassionate hearts (and that’s the majority of us) will always be drawn to the light.
“General” Alex Moore