Wednesday, March 29, 2006

March 28, 2006 - Poster Child?

When I was a kid, the March of Dimes was a charity that sought to end polio (the fact that they started out soliciting dimes tells you how long they’ve been around). I was in elementary school when the oral form of the Salk polio vaccine came out. I can still remember the novel experience of my mother telling my brother, Jim, and me that it was time to drive downtown, so we could eat a sugar cube which contained the liquid vaccine. My mother, ever wary of our dental health, was not inclined to let us eat sugar cubes, so this jaunt seemed a truly noteworthy event. (Jim and I agreed that, if nothing else, the sugar cube sure beat a hypodermic needle.)

After the Salk vaccine, polio was more or less eradicated in short order. Rather than closing up shop, the March of Dimes cast around for a new mission. They settled on the worthy cause of preventing birth defects. From their polio-fighting days, they had learned the value of naming a “poster child” each year. This was generally a cute-looking pre-schooler, who could be portrayed on promotional posters wearing leg braces or using crutches. The purpose of the poster child was to get sympathetic donors to part with their dollars (the organization having long since left mere dimes behind). We used to see the poster children’s pictures on change canisters in stores. They always seemed a bit sad. I never dreamed I might be one.

Recently, I’ve agreed to become a poster child of sorts – at least for one particular project, the raising of money for lymphoma research. Dana, a member of our church who works for Genentech (the company that makes Rituxan, the lymphoma miracle drug I’m receiving), is quite attuned to the ongoing need for research funds. She suggested that the church organize a fund-raising walk to aid the Lymphoma Research Foundation. Tom (another church member who’s principal of the local elementary school), and Mandy (our youth director) have responded enthusiastically to the idea - although we’re hoping for participation from all ages, not just the youth group. As of today, we’ve got a date (Sunday evening, April 30th, a place (the Antrim School) and a gimmick to set the event apart (a night-time walk with participants carrying glow-sticks for the dramatic effect).

I take it as a gesture of personal support and empathy for my situation, and am glad to receive it in that spirit. I’ll plan to come to the event to give the walkers moral support, though I may not have energy for more than a symbolic walk around the school track.

Sure, I’ll be a poster child for a good cause...


Tarun Jacob said...

You are always in our thoughts Pastor Carlos. Hope the walk goes well.
Tarun, Anne (& Koby)

Anonymous said...

We are truly sorry that the past few days have been so difficult for you - hope the next few are better. While reading today's blog, I thought: Isn't it great that our church is so full of people with various talents, ideas, strengths, etc.? While we all have our own opinions, just give PPPC members a challenge and they rise to the occasion! YOU are also rising to the occasion as you continue to do this blog even on days when one can "hear" that your discomfort level is high. Thank you. Charlene/Harvey

Anonymous said...

"saxifrage is my flower that breaks the rocks"

NJ poet william carlos williams

(the picture of the plant breaking through concrete reminded me)