Nationally, I support:
1. StandUp2Cancer. All money goes towards research. They have a no politics, no commercial side-tracking, no distraction, no nonsense way of solving the problem of cancer. Smart people fixing things; that's all it takes. Lots of TV and movie stars are on the bandwagon for this one; it's cutting edge. Awareness is dead, pink is old guard - let Research live!
2. ACS. Yes, they are a big complex machine but they do donate to research and they also do a lot of direct patient support for people with every kind of cancer. They helped me in my early days and they provide a ton of valuable information and support. I can't say no to this one.
3. Metavivor. Focused purely on finding a cure for metastatic breast cancer and 100% of your donation goes towards a research grant. No kidding.
There are a few groups in your community I want to give a shout-out to: Living Beyond Breast Cancer is holding a fund-raiser in Philly. Their paper did a nice piece on me, and I received a press release about this event. I don't normally post these locally-based requests as I would get far too many. Although I have readers from all over the world, I live in Sacramento and can't check things out in other areas for myself, and don't want to steer you wrong. However, this seems like a good thing for woman in that area so I am making a one-time exception:
Philly Friends, including Marc and Bob and others - read up:
Bruce Cooper, owner and chef of Jake's and Cooper's Wine Bar, has announced he will host a special fundraiser Wednesday, October 17, 2012 from 6:00pm – 10:00pm to benefit Living Beyond Breast Cancer’s Cis B. Golder Quality of Life Grant. The grant provides financial assistance of up to $2,000 to women in the Philadelphia area diagnosed with
breast cancer, with priority given to those in active treatment or who finished treatment in the last year. “In honor of my wife and mother, both of whom have personally been affected by breast cancer, 100% of the evening’s proceeds will benefit LBBC and the Cis B. Golder Quality of Life Grant. Party guests will enjoy a myriad of one-of-a-kind hors d’oeuvres, drinks and live music while helping local women diagnosed with breast cancer.
To date, Cis B. Golder Quality of Life Grant has donated a million dollars to help women cope financially with breast cancer, and it sounds like a fun night and a good cause for my friends in Philidelphia. And, for women in that area who didn't know about this help, you can contact Living Beyond Breast Cancer and find out how to apply.
I also want to mention "Mother's Grace" a foundation based on Phoenix, Arizona that has helped me personally. They support Moms and Children who are going through overwhelming life circumstances. They will provide day-to-day support, help with medical costs, groceries, housecleaning, vacation money, etc. They sent me a slew of gift cards from various businesses for my recent Arizona vacation, that has really been an invaluable help and took the financial pressure off us as we enjoyed our vacation. Click the above link or like them on facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mothers-Grace.
One day, out of the blue, a box arrived. Inside were some hats, very cute, knitted hats. No note but a card saying they were from Love Caps 4 Cancer. I wrote to the email address to thank them, and while they wouldn't tell me why I got the hats, they did say they send out over 400 hats a year. I have hair off and on and when it's off, warm and cute hats come in very handy, you cannot believe how cold a bald head is. I am sure that if you contacted these folks, either to donate a knitted hat or give them some yarn, they would appreciate it.
I am going to do a blog post about this separately, but my good friend just came from Utah to redecorate my bedroom. It was, frankly, an ugly mess, and now it's a peaceful sanctuary and will be a nice room in which to spend my final days (which I hope are years away). She has carpentry, electrical and other skills, so my room got a real makeover, with new lighting, trim, windowpanes, etc, aside from new decor. It was all done in a weekend and is amazing. Photos to come. She is interested in starting a non-profit and doing room make-overs for other people with catastrophic illness, so if anybody has experience or advice in how to go about starting a charity and things she needs to be aware of, please post it in the comments. To my knowledge, nobody does this specifically and for those of us who end up mostly home-bound, it is nice to have a clean, wonderful retreat in which to spend our days.
And, finally, and most important, each and every one of you has the power to save somebody's life, by donating to the marrow bank. It's easy, painless and quick. Read my post here for detailed directions and then just go do it.