I have a hand out asking for some financial help, folks. It's not for me, but for ACOR, about whom I have written before. ACOR sponsors a Kidney-Onc email list that I have belonged to since my diagnosis. At first I couldn't bear to read the messages there because they were all about treatments and drug side effects and even a couple of messages announcing the death of a member. I remained a member of the group but didn't have the emails sent to my box. As my disease progressed, I came back to the group and have become more active there. From the other list members, I have learned so much that will help Jim and me make the best decisions possible for any future treatment. And I have made friends there, people from all over the world who are smart, funny, inspiring, you name it. This list has been a lifeline not only to me but to many others. Kidney cancer isn't prevalent enough to have a lot of attention paid to it, lots of big fundraisers, etc. but the ACOR list is one place where a true community has been built. I'm willing to bet that there are folks on many of the other lists there for other cancers who would say the same.
This week all ACOR members got this message via email from ACOR's founder, Gilles Frydman. It is truly terrifying to think that the lists are in danger of closing down; the loss would be felt by so many, and it would be criminal to see all the hard work of Gilles and others slip away so quickly.
If you possibly can, please donate whatever you can to ACOR to help save it. If you live in the United States, it's important to note that ACOR is a recognized by the IRS as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. So, you can add to your tax deductible charitable contributions for this year. And if finances don't allow you to donate before the end of the year, you can certainly donate in January and get a good start on your 2010 taxes. :-) There are so many places out there that could use our support and they are all worthy. But more and more, I have come in contact with these "little guys" who despite shoestring budgets and a lack of household name recognition, have done so much good for so many. And just because they aren't a "name" charity, they don't get the support they deserve.
Thanks for your support. I know my fellow Kidney-Onc'ers will appreciate it too.