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Posted by on Wednesday, June 3rd, 2015 @ 5:41 pm.

Most of you know that we here at Disclosure aren't big fans of the American Cancer Society.

Over the years, we've been telling the truth about them, and about how the money that used to be raised at Relay for Life fundraisers (the annual "signature fundraiser") used to stay in the county where it was raised, but as of about 13-14 years ago, no more. We told the public that when we worked for Harry Bradham's paper in West Salem. It caused a considerable amount of outrage then. However, when we started our own paper, and were really able to tell what was going on with the Relays, boy, the flak we caught.

And it wasn't just from the public; the American Cancer Society took the opportunity to give us grief, too.

When we broke down where it was that the money really went within each of the divisions of the ACS that were designed to "help people," and told that each division had its own administrative personnel within it, the ACS went through the roof. ACS personnel went out of their way to have a shriekfest to whomever would listen, which amounted to their volunteers...who weren't getting paid $80,000 a year to raise funds for the Relays. In fact, the volunteers didn't really know that their bosses were getting paid. A whole bunch of them thought that their bosses were volunteers, too.

And they were mad. And that sparked a whole different kind of outrage. And so, in the wake of that, in May of 2003 we called the ACS in Chicago, a big statewide office that could speak for the regional offices, and give them an opportunity to speak their piece.

They ignored our calls, and ignored and ignored and ignored them. Ultimately, as is often the case, we sent an email (we'd rather just talk to a live human being, but that wasn't to be the way this was going to go down).

And we got an email response...which was what set us on the road to even more hardcore investigation of the ACS. Because that email was a nastygram. We've reprinted it several times over the years; I'd literally have to go digging for it to find it. But I remember that the sig line on the email was a person by the name of Amy Jo, and that Amy Jo was a spokesperson for the ACS out of Chicago.

And guess what.

We just got an email from Amy Jo, an ACS spokesperson out of Chicago. But not a nastygram. This time, they're promoting the ACS and sending out the promo material to us as a news organization, to-wit (if you'e not into the stuff that's tl;dr, just skip the part between the squiggly lines:


Thousands Will Celebrate Life And Cancer Survivors On National Cancer Survivors Day June 7

american cancer society, acsATLANTA (May 28, 2015) – On Sunday, June 7, thousands of people in communities across the country and around the world will hold celebrations to honor cancer survivors and celebrate life on the 28thAnnual National Cancer Survivors Day®. The celebrations will call attention to the ongoing challenges of cancer survivorship and show that life after a cancer diagnosis can be rewarding and inspiring.

The American Cancer Society estimates there are about 14.5 million cancer survivors in the United States, more than half of the 28 million cancer survivors worldwide. According to the National Cancer Survivors Day Foundation, administrator for the celebration, a survivor is anyone living with a history of cancer – from the moment of diagnosis through the remainder of life. The foundation provides free guidance, education, and support to hundreds of hospitals, support groups, and other cancer-related organizations that host National Cancer Survivors Day events in their communities.

“There was a time when a diagnosis of cancer was thought of as a death sentence, but that has changed dramatically,” says Catherine Alfano, vice president of survivorship for the American Cancer Society. “Since the early 1990s, the cancer death rate has declined by 22 percent. The five-year cancer survival rate is now at 68 percent, up 12 percent since the first National Cancer Survivors Day in 1987. Thanks to improved detection and treatment, more people than ever before are surviving cancer and going on to lead inspirational, productive lives after cancer.”

According to the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Treatment & Survivorship Facts & Figures 2014 – 2015, the number of cancer survivors alive in the United States today is expected to grow to almost 19 million by 2024. Even though cancer incidence rates are dropping, the number of survivors is rising due, in part, to earlier detection and better treatments. As the number of cancer survivors continues to grow, it will be more important than ever to address the unique needs of these individuals.

Since 1990, there has been a 22 percent decline in cancer deaths, with notable declines in lung and breast cancer mortality. Research breakthroughs such as the Society-funded development of Gleevec to treat chronic myeloid leukemia and targeted cancer drugs like Herceptin to treat breast cancer have helped increase cancer survivorship.

The American Cancer Society also provides a wealth of lifesaving services and programs to assist cancer patients and their caregivers, including free transportation to and from treatment through the Road To Recovery program, free lodging for cancer patients and caregivers at 31 Hope Lodges nationwide; and 24/7 cancer information by visiting cancer.org or calling toll-free 1-800-227-2345.

Many survivors face issues after cancer, including lack of information about new treatments, inadequate or no insurance and psychosocial struggles. Once active treatment ends, cancer survivors still must cope with the long-term effects of cancer, which can include physical side effects; psychological, social, and emotional concerns; and financial hardships. The American Cancer Society’s community-based programs and services are there to help.

The Society’s Survivorship Resource Center is working with external experts to create survivorship clinical care guidelines for primary care providers — all to make sure that cancer survivors who transition out of oncology and back to primary care get the comprehensive care they need to keep them healthy in the long run. Defining what care they need is an important step in helping make sure that cancer survivors have the optimal quality and length of life possible. The Society has published the prostate cancer survivorship guideline and breast, colorectal, and head and neck guidelines are on the way. There are also tools for survivors and caregivers at www.cancer.org/survivorshipcenter.

To locate the nearest National Cancer Survivors Day Foundation event in your community, check with your local cancer treatment center, hospital, or American Cancer Society office. For more information, visit the NCSD website at ncsd.org.

NCSD started in the United States in 1987, and it is now celebrated worldwide in countries including Canada, Australia, India, South Africa, Greece, Saudi Arabia, Italy, and Malaysia, according to NCSDF. The nonprofit National Cancer Survivors Day Foundation provides free guidance, education, and networking resources and assistance to hundreds of hospitals, support groups, and other cancer-related organizations that host official National Cancer Survivors Day events in their communities. The Foundation’s primary mission is to bring awareness to the issues of cancer survivorship in order to better the quality of life for cancer survivors.

About the American Cancer Society

The American Cancer Society is a global grassroots force of 2.5 million volunteers saving lives and fighting for every birthday threatened by every cancer in every community. As the largest voluntary health organization, the Society's efforts have contributed to a 20 percent decline in cancer death rates in the U.S. since 1991, and a 50 percent drop in smoking rates. Thanks in part to our progress nearly 14 million Americans who have had cancer and countless more who have avoided it will celebrate more birthdays this year. As we celebrate 100 years of service, we're determined to finish the fight against cancer. We're finding cures as the nation’s  largest private, not-for-profit investor in cancer research, ensuring people facing cancer have the help they need and continuing the fight for access to quality health care, lifesaving screenings, clean air, and more. For more information, to get help, or to join the fight, call us anytime, day or night, at 1-800-227-2345 or visit cancer.org.


Does this supplant the Relay for Life as a fundraiser? Does this augment it? Did Amy Jo know she was sending this to us when she sent it? The mind boggles with unanswered questions.

If you'd like to read what really goes on with money donated to the American Cancer Society, you can hit the link here, here, here and here for articles in the past. Or, if you have an online membership, you can read any one of the annual columns about the Relay for Life activity and the reality of "where the money goes" here, here and here...and if you haven't read THIS month's column, you can by clicking this link. Here's an excerpt:

The American Cancer Society has, in recent years, featured a campaign regarding the “Blame the victim” mentality that they say “some” seem to have.

I guess I’d be considered “some,” in their estimation.

And, dear readers, including you who have cancer, I am NOT blaming you. It’s not the victim’s fault, for crying out loud.

It’s the fault of our mass-produced society. It’s the fault of those who think processed food is actually ‘food’ and that it’s fine to shove that down consumers’ throats. It’s the fault of power plants whose owners stubbornly refuse to install scrubbers to take heavy metal particulates out of their “steam” rising from their smokestacks. It’s the fault of municipalities who buy the lie that fluoride in any form is an acceptable additive to a water supply. It’s the fault of chemical giants like Monsanto who have convinced an entire generation of “farmers” that weed eradication can only be accomplished by application of products containing glyphosates, which can disrupt enzyme production. It’s the fault of physicians who insist that literally dozens of immunizations for children by the time they reach school age are harmless when in fact they contain carcinogens and other toxins that disrupt development of healthy cells.

In other words, it’s all around us. Everything we put into ourselves, onto ourselves, surround ourselves with, can be classified a cancer-causing agent.

It’s not “blame the victim.” We’re all victims. The only people to be blamed are the ones who are blithely pushing these carcinogens on us without even coming remotely close to explaining the risks.

You can still pick up this issue at many of our vendors, including a growing number of new ones, in our readership area. If you're planning on going round and round a track any time this summer, give it a read...we all need to be awake, and a good hard dose of reality is sometimes all it takes to wake up.


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Posted by on Jun 3 2015. Filed under Illinois. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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