Tonight I am confused, bewildered and saddened. I should be feeling elated but feel totally the opposite. Blogging to see if, by putting it down in here it makes more sense to me. Doubt it but worth a try.
Yesterday I was told about a young lady who had an aggressive brain tumour and whose family needed to raise £160,000 for her to go abroad for treatment. All my charity donations now go to Ellie’s Fund Brain Tumour Trust so I did the other thing I can do fairly well – I logged into Twitter and I started tweeting the link to the gofundme page. I tweeted celebrities, people with high numbers of followers, my “regular re-tweeters” plus many more. I tweeted, they re-tweeted, people donated and it helped the target become reachable and then reached. I know there were an awful lot of people involved but I felt I had done my bit hence why I should be elated as this young lady now has a shot at getting this treatment however I can’t help but feel “let down” somehow.
After the target was hit I started tweeting about Ellie’s Mum, Heather’s, Macchu Picchu trek to see if I could help her get closer to her £5,000 target. Not one RT. Not one donation. It got me thinking – why is it people feel more motivated to donate when there is an obvious life at risk rather than “just research”? Why do they have to wait for a “reason” to be able to reach into their pocket and donate – even just £1.
I understand, logically, that it is because they can see the person whose life is at stake. They can relate to someone rather than a cause but there are so many children in this same situation, so many families trying to deal with a child with a brain tumour yet research is so underfunded that the number of children dying from a brain tumour in 2007 was 33% HIGHER than in 2001.
It costs £3,000 a day to run the lab that Ellie’s Fund BTT supports. £3,000 a day to try and find the cure for the biggest cancer killer of UK children and if we could raise the same amount of money in as short a period of time as trying to send one young person abroad it would keep the lab open for 53 days. Maybe a breakthrough would be found in those 53 days which would held people all around the world. Maybe not but it would give the scientists the opportunity to find it.
So I try and raise funds for research but the darkness isn’t imminent and it doesn’t have a face so people turn the other way, they close their purses and they “forget” until the next time they see a face.
Please don’t misunderstand me – I am glad this young lady has reached the needed target (although would much rather she wasn’t ill in the first place), that I played a small part in it and I am glad that she now has a chance at a treatment that may work but I am saddened that her darkness falling is what has made people sit up and take notice.
I just need to find a way for people to donate in the light rather than waiting for the darkness to fall. Any ideas gratefully received.