Read Hi-C’s post on cancer and its funding/awareness and completely agree (and suggest you go read it) and since it’s something people have been trying to do and since I know about this I’m going to throw my suggestions in.
Find a hospital near you that treats cancer patients. And ask them to get you in contact with people who have cancer. Help those people. Give them money, directly. The awesome thing about that is you know where the money’s going, and like she said, you know those people need it, and you know it’s not going to go to some iffy organization that uses their money for publicity and has the money never actually go to much use for people with cancer.
See if you can set a program up with the hospital! See if your school, business, saturday night knitting club or whatever else place where a group of people are together as one can work together to help said cancer patients. It doesn’t have to be walks. It doesn’t have to be money! You know what happens in a family when someone gets diagonalised with cancer? It sucks the life out of them. Takes all the fun happy stuff away. One, because the parents are usually too preoccupied to plan fun things anymore, two because they don’t have the money for them.
Get creative. Buy them tickets to a ball game. To a concert. Give a family a free turkey for thanksgiving. The hospital I’m near, they have a program where people donate things and on christmas families of cancer patients get presents, because they know said families usually don’t have time or money for their christmas. Which I think is cool. Do the same for other holidays, Hanukkah or Eid or anything. It doesn’t have to be expensive- choose a patient and a week, and devote that week to making cards and handmade presents and things for said patient and their family. Choose another patient and family the next week.
Hell, maybe you can’t help someone out of financial ruin, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do anything. A day, hour, minute of happiness can mean the world when you are batting cancer or watching someone you love battle cancer.
It helps because I KNOW it helps, because I’ve experienced it personally. Just even having a strong support system around people who’re suffering from cancer and their families is really important. And it’s a good start to addressing another problem too- the way other people treat those with cancer like they’re contagious and need to be shunned.
“Cancer awareness” programs, in my own opinion, are worthless. People know about cancer. Know they exist. Those programs are often capitalist and consumerist and extremely exploitative. We don’t need to make people aware of cancer, we need to make people aware of how to help those that have cancer and their families.