Cancer vs. Public?

Susan G. Komen and Livestrong
ADA and JDRF

Charity and non-profits (NP) have gone hand-in-hand since the concepts were created.  People naturally want to give and help others.  However, it has been a difficult two years (2008 and 2009) for many NP’s and organizations.  Fundraising is down, sponsorships have become selective in want they want to sponsor.  Key programs are being reduced or being cut and a sizable number of those who need the services are being turned away.  It appears that it’s a rough going for many groups.

Except cancer.

Cancer, in some ways, is the only disease in which their organizations saw an increase in donations and participation.  The Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure had their biggest year in Des Moines, raising over $225,000.

This will sound like an indictment towards SGK, the American Cancer Society, and Livestrong.  It’s not.  I’m trying to understand one nagging question, or a few, if you don’t mind?

“Why do people give more to causes to cure cancer, and other causes are hurting this year?”

How is the perception of cancer different and is given more awareness through publicity and attention?  Do major sponsors and corporations find it easy to support the Komen walk because it’s a “name event” and many people know what it is?  Is it easier to identify with cancer than, for example, multiple sclerosis?

Multiple Sclerosis Society

Everyone knows someone with cancer.  We’re not afraid to discuss cancer.  But, as I write this, is there apprehension to talk about other life-long or deadly diseases like Alzheimer’s, spinda bifida, or ALS?

I have been a volunteer for the American Diabetes Association for the past three years.  I’ve come across those in my age group who are either hesitant or uninterested about knowing more about diabetes.  They have friends, relatives, or colleagues who are diabetic, but they won’t talk about it.

What’s the holdup in talking about and bringing awareness in other health-related causes besides cancer?  Should there be more awareness being publicized to deflate the stigma of these diseases?

Or do they flat out don’t care, unless it’s cancer?

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