Allan and I, along with many readers of both wmtc and JoS, have been raising money for two friends of ours, Cat and Tim Baskin. Cathy has breast cancer - and no health insurance - and they need a used car so she can get to chemo treatments and doctor appointments.
All this time, I didn't even realize that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Most of our lives have been affected by cancer in some way - either surviving it ourselves, having a friend or family member survive it, or losing someone we love (or someone we know) to the dreaded disease. Breast cancer has its own special place in our fears. Every adult woman I know is terrified of getting breast cancer.
My first personal experience with breast cancer was in 1996, when a close friend of mine, 10 years older than me, discovered a lump in her breast while putting on lotion after a shower.
She was immediately diagnosed with an extremely aggressive form of cancer, and soon had a mastectomy. The surgery revealed her breast was riddled with malignant tumours, which had all appeared within a week or two. She had had a clean mammogram six months earlier. I was 35 years old, and it completely freaked me out.
My friend had "good" health insurance - what's considered good insurance in the US - but she still had to fight her HMO every step of the way to obtain the coverage she was entitled to. No fun any time, but especially difficult when you are sick and fatigued from treatments, and worried about dying before you see the age of 50.
Cat and Tim Baskin don't have health insurance. Tim is self-employed, and their health insurance had always been through Cathy's job as a nurse. She was in a very bad car accident some years ago, which ended her nursing career, and so ended their health insurance.
We are trying to make life a tiny bit easier for our friend, and maybe trying to make ourselves feel better, too. If you haven't already seen the video of Cat on her local news station, it's here. Please watch. More information is here.
The way this pledge drive is set up, if we don't meet our goal, no money is donated. So it's all or nothing. Right now we're $871 away.
I was hoping we could reach $4,000 - $700 more than the target - so Tim and Cathy could have a bit extra for gas or maintenance or whatever they needed. But now I see that may have been unrealistic, and I'll be very happy to reach the $3301 goal.
If your life has been affected by cancer, please consider donating in honour of that experience. As little as $10 will make a difference. Click here to pledge a donation.