Oh, that’s me attending a formal dance at the age of Gawky Mustachteen.
Otherwise known as Awkward Mulleteen.
Man. I think I found my superhero name. The Awkward Mulleteen Rises would be the name of my first movie. I would save hoards of dorks from ridicule and embarrassment and my superpower would be the ability to grow a lush mustache in thirty seconds. Useful.
As a person who once peed her pants in front of Mr. Seigel’s entire fourth-grade science class, I would like to assure you that I know a thing or two about ridicule and embarrassment.
What I don’t know about is what it’s like to watch my kid fight cancer.
Don’t stop reading.
Seriously imagine it. Your kid or your nephew or niece. Cancer. Your kid. Scared. Asking about death. Wondering if there’s a Target in heaven.
At least those are the questions my kid asks about death.
Along with, “Will we all have a house together? What will you and Dad do until I get there?”
Now turn those questions around, “What will I do until you get there, Mom? How will you find me, Dad?”
I’ve had some very difficult conversations with Genre’s mom about what it’s like to watch your child fight cancer, or any disease for that matter, and I pray every day I never have to live through it. But if I do, I’m glad to know I have Children’s Hospital here. I’m glad to know I have Genre’s Kids with Cancer here. You remember Genre, right?
This is as plain as I can say this: If Genre never got cancer, Make Room for Kids would not exist. Truly I know that. He is the genesis of it all and that’s why I’m devoted to his fund.
Since we’ve last talked, things have changed. Genre’s still in maintenance treatment and remains healthy, so thankfully, that hasn’t changed.
The fund expanded to not only take care of the kids by offering them free gaming systems and games to help make cancer treatments a bit more bearable, they’ve also been taking care of the parents — teaching them about being a cancer family and all that that entails.
Your kid doesn’t get cancer; your whole family gets cancer. Your whole family changes. Your whole family must learn a new way of living. What was once considered clean is no longer clean enough to not carry germs that could hurt your child’s weakened immune system. Getting the diagnosis is scary and Genre’s fund is there to hold the families’ hands and arm them ahead of time with the things that Genre’s family had to learn as they went along. In addition, families now receive To Go Bags from Genre’s Fund. As Genre’s mom explained:
The day after Genre was diagnosed with leukemia, a dear friend of mine gave me what she called a ‘to go bag.’ In that bag was everything that I would need during a hospitalization. She said that I should leave the bag packed and when Genre wasn’t feeling well and we needed to get to the hospital I could just grab that bag and go.
Cancer families no longer need to worry about that because the fund gives them their “To Go Bag.”
Another change is that I joined the board of directors at Genre’s Kids with Cancer, so I’m really trying to put my time and talents where my mouth is, so to speak.
This year, I’m once again raising money for my participation in Genre’s Kids with Cancer Footsteps in Faith 5k Run/1 mile fun walk.
I’m once again WALKING. Walking like I mean it, but walking nonetheless.
I have two ways for you to donate to my walk efforts and Genre’s Kids with Cancer Fund, which is an approved 501c3 organization by the Pittsburgh Foundation and Guidestar.
1. PayPal a few bucks, if you can spare them. $2? $4? $5? $10? Whatever you feel is sitting in your wallet that you might otherwise use to buy a latte or whatnot, that might be better put to use to help kids with cancer right here in Pittsburgh.
You can click here to go directly to Genre’s Kids with Cancer Fund’s PayPal page.
Feel free to send a check to Genre’s Kids with Cancer Fund to P.O. Box. 127, Irwin, PA 15642. Just be sure to put That’s Church in the memo section of your check so it can count toward our total.
You can also choose to register for the run if you’re one of those weirdos who can run long distances without a lung explosion. If you’re a lung KABLOOEY! person like me, you can register for the walk.
2. ScoreBig.com contacted me and offered to donate $1 to a charity of my choice for every person that registers a free account with them. You guys, I get lots of offers from companies looking to get their name on my site, but this is the first time someone offered to make it charitable, and of course I jumped at it. I registered an account myself and you only need your name, zip code, an email address, and a password. That’s it. Boom. $1 for Genre’s Kids with Cancer Fund.
What is ScoreBig? “The web’s newest place to get great deals on sports, concert and theater tickets. All tickets are below retail price with no fees and 100% guaranteed.” The neat thing is that you pick your own price. Make an offer and see what happens. A great place to find Pirate tickets and Steelers tickets and concert tickets here in the Burgh and around the country.
There’s a special landing page for you right here. Please take twenty seconds to create an account to funnel that additional dollar to Genre’s Fund and then maybe hunt around if you’re in the market for tickets. Price shopping can’t hurt!
Once again, I will reward you.
Each $500 raised earns you a new picture or some other prize. Maybe a new What They’re Really Thinking. We’ll see. My goal is $2,000. And you guys, that is totally doable.
The first $500 reward is the rest of that picture up there.
I’m wearing a pink dress. Glasses. A mullet. And I’m pretty sure I combed my mustache.