People ask me a lot if I donate to any cancer foundations. The answer is no, I don’t. 1) I don’t have any money to donate and 2) I think I’m doing my part to further cancer research by being their goddamn guinea pig for all the clinical trials I do plus I do this blog thing so I think I’m doing plenty for the cancer community. Not to be rude, but if I have a few extra smackaroos lying around, I’m gonna use them to buy a nice dinner with my fiance or get banged up my friends, not to buy some nerd a microscope. I don’t necessarily have a lot of time left, I gotta carpe the shit out of that diem when I can, ya know?
Now, I think donating to cancer research is important and I think it’s a great way for non-cancer-havers to help out their cancer-having buddies so I think that for certain people, donating can be an awesome and empowering thing to do. So if you are like me and you’re a cancer-haver, don’t feel bad cause you have to tell people you don’t donate to any cancer foundations. Having cancer is rather expensive and in my opinion, you should be spending your money on cathartic life experiences. For you non-cancer-havers out there who are looking for a way to feel like you’re helping in the fight, please do donate, it can make a real difference and it will make you feel like you’re helping out the cause because you are.
In this spirit of giving, I’ve decided to take the time to find some good nonprofits you can donate your hard-earned wages to. Or maybe you don’t work hard for your wages, who knows. Here are some legit, helpful nonprofits divided out by category and linked to their donation page:
The McDonalds of Cancer Foundations
Here are your big boys. The ones everyone knows about who are probably making the biggest impact towards advancing cancer research
- Susan G. Komen for the Cure (Breast Cancer)
- American Cancer Society
- St Jude Children’s Research Hospital (Pediatric Cancer)
Financial Assistance Programs
Having cancer is expensive and can require you to have to move your entire life to get proper treatment. Here are a few foundations that try to alleviate that burden.
- CancerCare (Provides direct financial assistance for co-pays, home care, etc.)
- Assistance In Healthcare (Offers direct financial assistance for patient families. Donate button is on the homepage)
- Corporate Angel Network (Provides free airfare for patients needing to travel for treatment)
- Mercy Medical Angels (Provides discounted air and ground transportation for patients needing to travel for treatment)
Foundations Benefiting Particular Cancers
Unfortunately, there’s only so much money in the world, so not every type of cancer has a big name foundation. If your buddy has kidney cancer, there’s no Susan G Komen-type foundation that’s bringing in a bajillion dollars for it cause there’s just not enough publicity around it. So here I want to list foundations focused on your more esoteric cancers.
- Ovarian Cancer National Alliance (Ovarian Cancer)
- American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (Colorectal cancer, esophageal cancer, and pancreatic cancer)
- Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network (Bladder Cancer)
- International Myeloma Foundation (Myeloma)
- Sarcoma Foundation of America (Sarcoma)
- Skin Cancer Foundation (Melanoma)
- Gastric Cancer Foundation (Stomach Cancer)
There’s about a thousand more of these types of foundations out there so if I didn’t get one for your cancer, just google “[your type of cancer] foundation”, I’m sure there’s one out there.
The last foundation I’m going to highlight is First Descendants. This foundation puts together adventure trips for young adults (ages 18-39) with cancer. I was introduced to this organization when I first went into remission 2 years ago, and I thought it was a pretty cool idea. I have always been an advocate that getting out into the world and having memorable experiences is critical for cancer-havers to stay hopeful and feel like we’re living a fulfilled life. This organization does just that by giving young adults with the cancer the opportunity to go out and have those cathartic experiences without worrying about the finances. I never personally did one of these trips unfortunately, but I recommend it to everyone who is looking.
Cancer foundations are a dime a dozen, so if you’re someone who is looking for ways to feel helpful, donating can be a great idea. I wouldn’t go bragging to your cancer-having buddy that you made a donation and now they should be thanking you, but it will make you feel accomplished. And if you’re a cancer-haver and you feel bad that you don’t donate, don’t. I don’t either because I don’t believe it’s our jobs to both go through cancer AND pay to have it cured. Let the people who aren’t drowning in medical bills take care of that, you just focus on getting better and living a full life.