The thing about cancer is that it doesn’t give a shit who you are or how old you are or who you know or how much money your folks left you in that trust fund or how many jobs you’re working to keep food on the table or how many hours you spent studying for the class spelling bee or how many Lyle Lovett CDs you’ve got in your collection. The f@#king thing just shows up one day — unannounced, like a loutish uncle — and you have to deal. But, ghastly as it sounds, it’s one thing that we all have in common: it can happen to any of us. Tomorrow, it could be you. Or your dad. Or your mom. Or your kids. Or your butcher. You just don’t know.
Scary shit, yes. That’s why it’s particularly reassuring to know that the folks at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and The Jimmy Fund Clinic are working around the clock to help us deal. I hope and pray you’ll be lucky enough to never need their services. But if you ever do, it’s good to know they’re there.
To help offset the cost of research and other events, the Jimmy Fund looks to people like you and me. And one of their biggest fundraising programs is the annual WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Telethon, which runs through tomorrow. It’s 36 hours of special guests, Red Sox players and patients and their families sharing stories. And if you can listen without breaking down at least once an hour, you’re a stronger person than me.
The telethon itself is inspiring viewing. It’s also as good an opportunity as ever to donate. And if you need any motivation to help you break out the checkbook or credit card, let it be this: you’ll be helping sick kids. F@#k, when I was a kid, the toughest thing I had to worry about was where my next wedgie was coming from (a concern that follows me to this day, to be honest). The kids who file into the Jimmy Fund clinic every day are literally fighting for their lives. And I can only imagine the special hell their parents and loved ones are going through while I have the balls to stammer around my office, complaining about the traffic and Edward Mujica and how the coffee machine doesn’t get my brew quite as warm as I like it.
Anything — anything — you can spare to this worthy cause will help make a difference in someone’s life. That’s the stuff that matters, Billy.