Show Me the Money!

Last updated: June 2023

I find myself so frustrated when I try to organize a team or raise money in support of lung cancer research. My own brother doesn't support my efforts, why should I really expect anyone else to?

It can be hard to find support

I really don't understand it ... and I am honestly and truly hoping someone can explain it to me, make me feel better about it. Because I find it both incredibly maddening and unbelievably hurtful. I am generally an upbeat and hopeful person, but this one area of my lung cancer fight sends me swirling down the drain to depression.

I have my core group: my mom, one cousin, and three or four friends who will always support me, both with their time and their money. Everyone else says, “You go, girl!!! You are doing great. We are so glad you are beating this disease. WhooHoo!!”

But, when I ask for donations for a cause very near and dear to my heart - lung cancer research - everyone disappears. When I ask people to join my team and walk with me, the little core group will show up for me. But none of the rest of the people who give me a lot of lip service, but no actual support will be there.

Coming up short on support and funds

I suppose my feelings shouldn't be hurt. I saw one friend give $20 to his sister who was very much in need of quick funds. He said he was sorry, but it was all he could spare. And, yet, the following two weekends, I saw that he had enough money to participate in activities that he enjoys and that cost him several hundred dollars each weekend.

I heard a quote by James W. Frick last weekend. It is so appropriate that I put it as my cover picture on Facebook. It goes something like, “Don't tell me where your priorities are. Show me where you spend your money and I will tell you where they are.” Indeed.

It isn't that most everyone doesn't have a few bucks to send in support of lung cancer research. You know, to support that research that has been keeping me alive for the last 4.5 years, yeah, that kind of research. It is simply that their priorities are not placed where mine are.

Making it personal

A cup of Starbucks, an agility run, a restaurant meal, those are apparently far more important to my friends than helping find ways to keep lung cancer patients (current and future) alive. Or, let’s personalize it (as I can't help but do): more important than helping keep ME alive. That next discovery just might be the one that finally gives me No Evidence of Disease status or that will at least continue to keep me stable when this drug loses its effectiveness. But, we have to have the money to fund the research to get the discoveries. It is that simple and that difficult.

And, that's what hurts so badly. When the pocketbooks stay tightly closed and only a core few can make the time to join my team for a once-a-year walk, it tells me that, despite their words of love and encouragement, my life actually matters to them very, very little.

What new tactics can I try?

Does anyone else feel this way? It has made me quit fundraising because it just hurts too much to see the lack of response.

Does anyone have ideas I might try? Or, maybe, some words of wisdom to get past the hurt because it is time for me to get back in the game of fundraising, like it or not!

Have you had similar experiences as Donna when trying to fundraise? Share your own story here.

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