I don’t engage in a lot of Twitter memes. But I gladly joined the #beatcancer meme today.
As a two-time cancer survivor (colon in 1999, basal cell in 2005), I know that cancer is not a sure death sentence. But I also visited my father three weeks before his death from prostate cancer in 1978 and visited my nephew, Patrick Devlin, four days before his death from leukemia last month. The enduring memory of Dad’s death and the fresh memory of Patrick’s underscore for me that every time someone can #beatcancer, I should join the celebration.
Not long before I became aware of the meme, I read Jeff Jarvis’ latest candid post about his recovery from surgery for prostate cancer. I know Jeff only through the Internet, but someone that candid feels like a friend anyway, so I encouraged him through Twitter and in a comment on his blog.
Then I saw someone’s #beatcancer tweet and clicked on the hashtag to read more about it. Here’s the explanation:
eBay/Paypal and MillerCoors are donating a cent per hashtag (via tweet, Facebook update, or blog post). The campaign is aiming for a Guinness World Record “for the distribution of the largest mass message through social media” in one day.
I hope they set the record. (Twitter search shows more than 8,000 new #beatcancer tweets just in the few minutes I’ve taken to write this blog.) I hope they raise a ton of money. I hope they #beatcancer.
For Dad and Patrick. For my mother-in-law, Irene, who died from colon cancer in 1981. For my brother, Dan, who had successful surgery for prostate cancer this year. For my niece, Liz, who’s a lymphoma survivor. For my niece, Kelly, who will be walking this weekend in Des Moines to raise money to fight leukemia and lymphoma. For Jeff Jarvis. For Jay Wagner, whom we lost to melanoma and brain cancer this year, and Chuck Offenburger, who’s battling and beating lymphoma. For the friend who doesn’t talk about it much but told me yesterday that she’s a breast cancer survivor.
For all the cancer survivors you know and love, for those you have lost to cancer and for those supporting the people who are fighting cancer.