The feelings of hopelessness, disbelief, and frustration at the unfairness of life.
I learned that a family with a young son close to us at Pinky Swear Foundation relapsed with leukemia. This boy has been battling cancer for over a decade. For privacy reasons, we will call him John.
I know his parents well. They are hardworking, loving, salt of the earth people. Since they have faced unimaginable challenges, they live life with a bit more purpose than the rest of us.
John's family's life will soon be on pause again. Another year lost to difficult decisions, unknown treatment costs, and risks that are hard to manage.
John will need to travel. He will be far away, in a hospital halfway across the country without his extended family or friends. His parents may need to rent an apartment to avoid hotel costs and the risk of infection. The length of their stay is unknown. What is known is that it will cost a lot of money.
I am an activator. I am a doer. I cannot sit at home sipping coffee and feeling sorry for them.
I would like to cure cancer, but I cannot. I do not have research connections or medical knowledge. However, I can do something. I can pay John's rent.
It's not complicated.
The amount of funding provided for basic needs like housing, transportation, and food has profound impacts on the medical outcome of a childhood cancer diagnosis.
What if we could do more?
What if we could pay John's rent for a year?
But there are nearly 15,000 Johns in our country.That is both good and bad news.
The bad news is that 15,000 parents will face these impossible choices this year and will look at each other and say, "How are we going to do this?" or "How can we afford to pay our bills and still be the rock for our child?"
The good news: it's a problem we can solve. We can pay their expenses when their child is facing the fight of their lives.
It's a rather simple formula. 15,000 kids per year, $1,500 per month, 12 months. That's $270 million. So what? Amazon had $514 billion in net revenue last year, and they started off selling books online.
We have to start somewhere.
I have made the Pinky Swear promise to make a difference, big or small.I will continue to dream big until this problem is solved. Will you join me?