Round & round we DON’T go…at least not as much as beforePosted by Angela Howser on Thursday, May 31st, 2012 @ 8:56 pm.
Since 2002, we have been particularly vocal about the issue of the ACS’ “signature” fundraiser, the Relay for Life, and all of its attendant offshoots, such as “Walk and Roll,” a scaled-down version of the Relay as Americans become more saturated in fluoride and high fructose corn syrup and don’t quite have the motivation to keep the Relay going all night (so held because “cancer never sleeps.” That didn’t last long.) We learned in 2002 that Relay money (and in fact all money raised during ANY of the ACS events throughout the year) is never kept in the county in which it’s raised, as it used to be when that event first emerged in the mid-1980s. What happened was that each county was benefitting greatly, monetarily, from the Relays and after about 15 years, the ACS, being the greedy bastards that they are, decided they needed to get some of that action, and in 2001, they began sweeping in and taking all Relay money to a “clearinghouse” in Atlanta….where the massive funds were kept in a bank, and if a county needed the funds—you know, to really HELP people, like the ACS was initially developed to do—they had to ASK the ACS for their own money back, to help their own residents who were suffering cancer.
When we broke that story, it pissed off an awful lot of people in Edwards County,where we were living at the time. There was a lot of backlash from the ACS, who insisted that people in their regional offices weren’t making $80,000 a year in “administrative” payments, and that they weren’t getting completely new office furniture and draperies every time there was turnover. But they were, and there was. And it wasn’t just in downstate Illinois. It was everywhere. As it turned out, when the breakdown of ”where the money goes” was published each year (with respectable amounts like 17, 18 or 20 percent going to “research,” “programs,” etc., and a little bitty 6 percent devoted to “administration and overhead,” we dug into it and found that that little 6 percent was only going to the upper echelon of the ACS administrative offices…and that each division had its own administration within it, consuming sometimes upwards of a quarter of the entire budget of each. In other words, there was a lot of obfuscation and sleight-of-hand going on. And the ACS didn’t want us publishing that.
They went as far as to send us a nastygram in 2003, which we still have, by email. In it they told us that they would not be talking to our media outlet, as they only grant comments and/or interviews to media that “tells only favorable things about the American Cancer Society.”
And that, folks, was the beginning of the end of the popularity of the ACS/Relay in downstate Illinois.
Over the years, we hammered the facts that Relay money no longer stays in the county; that the ACS was stingy when it came to giving money to any cancer victim/survivor for any purpose (including for fuel to and from cancer treatments, something they used to do but in the “new” ACS, the patient had to requisition said monies….and family couldn’t drive the patient; it had to be someone unrelated.) They wouldn’t help pay for wigs for chemo patients unless specific guidelines were adhered to—chemo patients had to go to a specified wig shop, and only had a choice of three or four to select from. There were other local support systems that went by the wayside, too…..because monetary support was withdrawn from the counties, and people who volunteered for the agency were so hurt and disappointed that they didn’t see the need to keep on.
And the numbers kept declining.
Last year, there were some sites where formerly there were ‘per capita’ winners on the state level (the Relayers raised more money than other counties based on dollars per population) where they barely HAD a Relay. Now this year, there’s some consolidation going on. Lawrence, once raising more than $100,000 at their Relay (2002, the year before we began covering news in that county), in recent years has seen paltry totals of $35,000 or so. They are “joining” neighboring Crawford County—Lawrence isn’t holding an event of their own; they’re going to have theirs in Crawford (who has also seen totals falling.)
We’d like to see all Relays fall by the wayside. The “War on Cancer” is a misnomer. It should read “Cancer’s war on humanity aided by Big Pharma.” Chemo and radiation are often more deadly than the condition itself. Traditional treatments worsen cancer patients’ lives. And worst of all, the ACS REFUSES to admit that exposure to our toxic environment—and all the garbage in our food and water—is almost 100 percent to blame for the current cancer rates. A little more than 100 years ago, there was nearly no cancer. Cancer was a very, very rare condition created at that time mostly by allergic reactions in the infrequent individual, and was dreaded because it was little understood. And the American Cancer Society has excelled at making sure that the “disease” (it’s not a disease; it’s a condition that creates disease in an organ or system) remains dreaded, as well as shrouded in mystery—it’s “genetics” in some people, it’s “bad habits” like smoking in others, it’s “radon gas in showers” in still others, but it’s always something largely beyond our control, according to the ACS…and that’s just not true. They don’t talk about nitrates in water, sulfates in soap and shampoo and detergent, the fact that almost every person has a mild allergic reaction to soy in our food. We are saturated in carcinogens…and the ACS, instead of lobbying to make changes at the point of origin and remove these harmful substances from our intake, tries to make people believe they’re pouring money into “research that helps everyone!!!”
Do your own research. Dr. Samuel Epstein, author of The Politics of Cancer, knows whereof he speaks. He works for the Cancer Prevention Coalition. They actually want to stop cancer by preventing it….not promoting it, like the ACS, so they can keep their $80,000-a-year (and UP) jobs.
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