Helping in the fight against cancer is important to me. I know too many people who have suffered from cancer to be indifferent. The problem is, money always seems like the best way to help -- but I don't have much of it.
Fortunately, as the late Susan Niebur once wrote, "There are as many ways to fight cancer as there are types of cancer". She identified 4 categories of ways you can help:
I give what I can across all those categories, and I hold out hope that my small contributions, when combined with everyone else's, will make a difference in the long run.
So far my volunteering efforts have consisted of joining fundraising walks or runs and baking for fundraisers at school. Now there's an opportunity for me (and thousands of other adults) to participate in another kind of volunteering -- volunteering for a research study with the American Cancer Society. Their latest research project, CPS-3, will track 300,000 adults in the US over the next 20 years, asking questions about their lifestyle and overall health, trying to understand which factors -- lifestyle, environmental, genetic -- can cause or prevent cancer.
Their previous studies helped uncover the link between cancer and smoking, hormones, diet and other factors -- stuff that seems obvious to us today, but would never have been discovered had it not been for studies like these. How could I not join? It's a chance to be a part of something that could really make a difference, something that could help so many people -- maybe even my kids or grandkids -- one day.
If you're interested in participating, here are the basics:
- If you're between the ages of 30 and 65 and have never had cancer, you're eligible to enroll.
- If you enroll, you'll be asked to fill out a consent form and a 45-minute survey.
- You'll be asked to make an appointment for a blood draw and a waist measurement.
- You'll be asked to fill out follow-up surveys every 2-3 years for the next 20 years.
For more details, head to the American Cancer Society's website or check out my CPS-3 blog post on Bonggamom Finds. Enrollment is going on nationwide through December 2013. If you live in the Bay Area, enrollment is going on through August 2013.