I sent out fundraising emails last week. I received two donations. I was excited, then I received the following email:
I've got a question for you... Have you ever known anyone that has had breast cancer, or any other cancer? The reason I ask is that I know several people that have had cancer, and have even joined them in these walks for cancer "research". The painful truth is that this money doesn't seem to be going to where it needs to. These walks are bull shit! Sorry, nothing against you, like I said I have walked in them before too. It pisses me off that they help no one.
This isn't the full email as I removed some of the more personal things this person said. However it felt like such an attack to me. It was greatly upsetting. I was completely upset for a couple of days. It brought back so many memories of the people I have lost to cancer. When I was younger both my uncle and my grandmother died from cancer, the same year within two months of each other. My grandma had breast and lung cancer. It was such a horrible time for me. My grandma was an awesome grandma. My sister and I used to stay at her house on weekends. We had such great times with grandma. We had snugly bags that we'd snuggle in to and watch TV with grandma in the evenings. She'd put a blanket in the wheel barrow and give us rides around her yard. I have so many fun memories of her. I don't remember my grandma being sick, she always seemed fine. However we moved to a different state and maybe that's why I don't remember her being sick. I'll never forget when my grandma told me good bye. We called her for her birthday, I don't remember all that grandma said to me, but I remember her telling me she loved me and I meant so much to her. I remember knowing somewhere in my 14 year old head that she was saying good bye. My grandma died 4 days later.
My uncle died two months before this. It was such a horrid time for my family. My uncle was an amazing man. He was firm and strict, but gentle and loving. He had such a great heart. I miss him terribly. Receiving the email that I did brought back these horrible feelings of loss that I feel. My uncle was young when he died way before his time. I have a hard time thinking of him and all the wonderful memories I have with out tears filling my eyes.
And so after feeling so upset by the email I received I read such an uplifting status on facebook. My sister in law said "Yesterday was rough, so today I woke up....dusted myself off and feel a lot better. Feelings are unpredictable, but the true constant is that feeling of love!" I said "wow, she is so right!" Time to dust myself off. And so I continue sending emails requesting donations so that I can walk in October.
I know that the person who wrote the email is mad because of cancer that has been seen in their life and I opened a door so that they could vent and let out their anger. I also know that the Susan G. Komen foundation does wonderful things. I am excited and proud to be a small part of that. No one can take that away from me.