Today starts the yearly telethon for the Jimmy Fund. The Jimmy Fund helps support the fight for cancer, by helping the Dana-Farber Institute right here in Massachusetts. Every year, they air a telethon for 2 days to help raise money for research. So far, they have raised more than $750 million towards research since being founded in 1948. (Statistics courtesy of the Jimmy Fund website.) More than that, they offer emotional and mental needs of their patients, which in some studies are often times just as helpful in their fight.
Every year, every television in my house ends up tuned into this event. Cancer has affected my family on more than one occasion, so we feel a true empathy to the cause. We listen to the stories and remember the people we’ve lost or the scares we’ve had. Most of all, I find their stories more inspirational than just “I beat it”. It’s about fighting for something, which I completely stand by. Also, interestingly, most of the people we see on the telethon are strong and more powerful than anyone I know. Their courage is something we should admire. They go into their treatments knowing they have a long and draining fight ahead of them. They also go into the fight with all their strength realizing that the treatments might not work. They do it anyways, and they put up one hell of a fight. This is why I admire them, because sometimes it’s easier to give up and they don’t.
Watching the telethon though, you have a sobering realization: you’re really not safe from cancer. You could live a perfectly healthy life; exercising, not smoking or drinking, and you could still die from it. Likewise, you could do everything wrong, and you could live to 100. You could be an infant, or you could be middle-aged. Statistically speaking, donating to a charity like this benefits you more than just the warm fuzzy feeling you get, you could benefit because someday you might need their help.
I grew up with a strong belief in charity. Give whatever you can to one charity, my father would say. Today, every year at telethon time, my husband and I give what we can. Our local grocery store also a few times a year has a scratch ticket fundraiser or a “donate a $1 to the Jimmy Fund” fundraiser, which we also take part in. It’s something we both feel very strongly about. It’s our family tradition. We’re grateful to them for what they do for the community, and we’re grateful for strives the Dana-Farber Institute make every year. Every year could bring us one step closer to a cure, I hope.
With that said, I hope you guys check out the telethon (for us Massachusetts residents, NESN and WEEI radio airs it) and I hope you really listen to their stories. I’m also hopeful that maybe some people will take this post to heart and get inspired to help their cause. If you want more information, check out their site at: http://www.jimmyfund.org/ . You’ll find statistics, information about the Dana-Farber Institute and the Jimmy Fund. Plus, you’ll also see a nice little button that says “Make a Gift”, and maybe you’ll click it.