Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Our Greatest Fear This Halloween

Halloween, with its haunted woods and houses, eerily glowing jack o’ lanterns, and spooky “Thriller” sounds raising goosebumps on arms around the world, has nothing on most people’s greatest fear. No ghost, no witch, no scream in the night compares to our most brain-chilling fear: cancer.

Cancer is the scourge that haunts daily. It lurks; it hides; it waits. It grows in silence. And, then, when we least suspect it, it appears, its blanched incisors bared, its lips stretched into a sneer unlike any other. It catches us—helpless--in its Grendel-like clutches, and we believe ourselves helpless: cowering, pleading, praying the bite will only sting, that the apparition will flit--a nightmare--into the night. But once this ghost appears, it doesn’t disappear overnight. This fear is real. This is one horror that won’t leave without a fight.

Cancer has hurt everyone at one time or another. Not many of us have escaped its jaws, which clench, grind, and chew us up—physically and emotionally. Whether one of us has fought the monster off or has struggled to wrestle it from a relative or a pet, we have all known its hurt, its devastation, its oppression. In whatever way each one of us has been hurt by this torment, our only way to come away victorious is to fight until the pestilence is finally silenced.

That fight is being waged by a soldier of incredible courage and determination. His name is Luke Robinson, and he has sacrificed the last two and a half years of his life for his war against canine cancer. As a memorial to his Great Pyrenees, Malcolm, who died of bone cancer in 2006, Luke first began his sucker-punch to cancer during his 2,000 mile trek from Austin, Texas to Boston, Massachusetts. He and his two other Great Pyrenees, Murphy and Hudson, won the first battle against cancer finishing the walk on June 19, 2010. During that arduous trip in which they often stayed overnight in a tent alongside the road in hot and freezing temperatures, Luke remained staunch against his invisible adversary-- memories of his beloved Malcolm spurring him on. Luke’s trip was not only personally cathartic, but its mission sounded the bugle to others. Once he had peoples’ attention, he turned to the world of research. He awakened the veterinary world to renewed interest against this scourge in the form of the most powerful ally: charitable donations and sponsorships that would help make further studies and research possible.

This November 7, 2010 Luke, never one for a mere sneak attack, is launching an even more aggressive campaign in his 2 Million Dog walk. People across the United States are joining his war against cancer by walking by themselves or with their dogs in twelve cities across the nation: Atlanta, Auburn, WA; Boston; Cincinnati; Edinboro, PA; Fairborn, OH; Fort Collins, CO; New Milford, CT; Pittsburgh; Poughkeepsie, NY; Richmond, VA; and Seattle. And those not living near any of the participating cities are waging their personal battle in a virtual walk--walking those two miles around their neighborhoods and parks. And some, who are not able to walk at all are donating even as little as $5 for weapons or to boost morale for those walking soldiers.

Luke is asking everyone to donate or raise whatever monies he or she can to support research against canine cancer and for studies in comparative oncology so that, finally, people can drop this scourge to its knees. If one would like to participate at any of the twelve battleground cities around the U.S., he or she is encouraged to walk there, with or without a dog, for two miles. Registry is online for each particular city, and full instructions and contacts are at each site, as well. If one cannot walk in one of the cities on the list, he or she can still join the battle in the virtual walk by registering at http://www.2milliondogs.org/ and at that site creating his or her own fundraising page, which can then be posted to Facebook or MySpace.

People can also join the fight by donating a portion of the proceeds from any event: yard sales, wine-tasting parties, raffles, small auctions, or any profitable event. As well, businesses may send a percentage of profits from goods sold. Any monies collected from such events can be donated through the website, http://www.2milliondogs.org/ and clicking on the “Donations” tab or by contacting Ginger at Ginger@2milliondogs.org.

And here’s another way to get involved. If you buy your dog food at http://www.dogisgood.com/ and enter coupon code “FB#2”, you will get 10% off your order, and Dog Is Good will donate 15% of your total order to 2 Million Dogs (sale items and Never Walk Alone T’s not included). This offer is valid through November 15th, 2010.

Finally, next year’s goal at 2 Million Dogs is to stage walks against canine and pet cancers in EVERY state. If you are interested in organizing a walk in your city for November 6, 2011, please write to Ginger at Ginger@2milliondogs.orgor call her at 901-619-2286. Everyone’s efforts are needed to kill the scourge that is cancer.


1 comment:

  1. I admire Luke and all he's doing to help our fur children. On my way to the dog food site...

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