July 18, 2013

Stand Up to Cancer. Dig In & Do Good. Trust me, it feels great. #DoGood #MC

This week I explored MasterCard's new Dig In & Do Good initiative to benefit Stand Up to Cancer as part of a sponsored post for Collective Bias® And I'd do it 100 times over in the hopes that what I have to say helps make a difference.  To learn more about how you can make a difference you can visit  MasterCard's Dig In & Do Good site.

Once a year my heart stops for a minute as I wait for the words "everything's fine" to come through the receiver of my phone.  There are many fears you have as a parent and a wife.  The C-word is undoubtedly near the top of everyone's list.  This ulcer inducing phone call takes place as my husband is leaving Cedars Sinai from his annual appointment with the doctor who saved his life about 20 years ago.  And no matter how many years go by it's the longest few seconds ever.

Mommy Testers Stand Up to Cancer, MasterCard, MasterCard Do Good, Dig In & Do Good,

While in college Craig was diagnosed with a rabdomyascarcoma, which is an aggressive tumor found in muscle tissue.  In just a few hours his entire world was turned upside down as he was ordered to move home and start chemotherapy immediately.  The next couple of years of his life revolved around radiation, chemotherapy, surgery, recovery and more chemotherapy.  And he was lucky.  Because he lived.  When you read the five year survival rate for this diagnosis the percentage you see is one you wouldn't want to receive on a test in school and my eyes well up just thinking about it.

One of the many things that made me fall in love with Craig enough to leave the only life I ever knew in New York was what he did after beating cancer.  He found a great way to give back and turn his struggle into hope for others by becoming a Wish Granter for Make-A-Wish.  Over the years I've watched him be there for multiple families who had children diagnosed with the same type of cancer he had and many with different life threatening conditions.

I've watched him bond with parents who just wanted hope and living proof that their child stood a chance against the unknown that they were fighting.  I have shopped for and wrapped countless little gifts as ice breakers when meeting a new child or sending one off on a wish trip.  We've celebrated children being declared cancer free and I've watched him cry for the ones he thought would make it and didn't.

Despite having a more continuous connection to cancer than most, I have to be honest.  Cancer scares the living daylights out of me.  I remember being pregnant and a friend who has never been particularly awesome at choosing words intelligently brought up Autism risks.   He quoted that 1 in 100 statistic which is crazy when you think about it and probably outdated by now.  That's SO high, right?  Well brace yourself.

1 in 2 men and 1 in 3 women
will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetimes.

Insert a string of words I don't say on this blog here.  I apologize for giving you one more reason NOT to sleep at night and am aware that ignorance is bliss.  But sadly, last I checked hiding under the covers and refusing to come out doesn't do much after the age of five.  And regardless of our efforts, shoving kale salads down our throats only goes so far.

Mommy Testers Stand Up to Cancer, MasterCard, MasterCard Do Good, Dig In & Do Good,

The sheer lack of zeros in those statistics is shocking.  So maybe it's time to do something more?  To take a stand without having to do all that much?  The reality is that not everyone can do what Craig does and be involved at that level.  And that's fine.  But there are things we can all do to help shape the future of the battle against this super scary word that's a thousand awful things wrapped into one.

Stand Up to Cancer is an organization that promotes rapid innovation in the war against cancer through some very simple concepts...like teamwork.  They give grants to teams that work collaboratively rather than competitively to put as much brain power as possible towards finding new treatments to help patients now.  They also support groundbreaking research programs which traditionally might be deemed high risk but  of course can be high impact when it comes to finding cures for a disease that seems to be everywhere you turn.

Mommy Testers Stand Up to Cancer, MasterCard, MasterCard Do Good, Dig In & Do Good,

So I was excited when I heard that MasterCard was partnering with Stand Up to Cancer in quite possibly the simplest initiative to participate in...ever.  Dig In & Do Good is all about harnessing the collective power of friends, family and individuals.  From July 12th to September 28th all you have to do to join the movement is make the choice to dine out, spend $10 or more and use your MasterCard to pay.

No registration and no list of participating restaurants to follow.  Even the hot dog stand at the ballpark counts.   In turn Mastercard will donate up to $4,000,000 to Stand Up to Cancer one precious penny at a time to further their incredibly important work in changing the future of this terrible disease.

Mommy Testers Stand Up to Cancer, MasterCard, MasterCard Do Good, Dig In & Do Good,

Have you been slacking on date night?  Is there a friend you are overdue on a coffee or lunch date with?  Or wouldn't it just be nice to take yourself to lunch and sit in peace for a change?  If you've been looking for a reason to do any of the above then I think it's safe to say you were just handed one on a silver-feel-good-platter. 

Over achieving proactive type or just want to seem like one?  MasterCard has made it easy to invite friends via Facebook and Linkedin to join you so you can all catch up, Dig In & Do Good.  Or if you're like me and a fan of doing the most direct thing possible to give the money to the people who need it, there's an easy way to make a big difference.  

All you have to do is head to the MasterCard page and scroll to the bottom till you see the "Tweet to Donate" button.  If you click that it will generate a tweet where you can adjust the dollar amount to however much you'd like to donate directly to Stand Up to Cancer.  Simply put, it's the tweet that can change life as we know it.  

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