Whether you or someone who you know has been diagnosed with cancer, you know that it can be the scariest thing that you’ve ever faced. As I discussed yesterday, more people are turning to the web to share their experiences and let people know what it’s really like to stare cancer directly in the eyes.
Sharing is becoming a therapeutic way to face diseases and any bump in the road during our lives. When we step away from sharing goofy YouTube videos, we realize how amazing it is to be connecting with so many people from so many different walks of life.
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By the end of this year, about 1,596,670 new cases of cancer will have been diagnosed in America. Unfortunately, 571,950 people will have died of the disease this year alone as well.
How can we get involved? Social Good.
It’s not just about donating money to charities, although that helps further awareness and research to help destroy cancer. These organizations are using the web in an awesome way to support those with cancer, raise awareness on how we can get involved, and raise money to fund research in treating and eventually curing the disease.
IHadCancer.org launched this year to support those who have been affected by cancer in any way. It is the best social network out there for those who have fought the disease, or have known someone who is fighting it.
The site lets you share your stories, message people directly, and mobilize your own efforts in raising cancer awareness. The site is awesome, and facilitates open conversation about a disease that has affected so many. The team has done a great job integrating sharing via Twitter and Facebook, so that people’s story can get outside of its walls. Even if you haven’t been directly affected by cancer, the site is worth signing up for, since statistics show that you probably will be at some point in your life.
When you think about finding information about cancer, you might think that the best place to check is the American Cancer Society, because that’s the organization everyone hears about first when someone they know is diagnosed. I’ve personally found that another organization, aimed at the youth of America, called “Fuck Cancer” does a brilliant job at making all things cancer easier to understand and digest.
The site offers education materials that include “cheat sheets” and infographics about each major type of cancer. I can’t stress enough how helpful a resource like this is. Organizations as large as the American Cancer Society tend to offer up information in a very sterile way. That in and of itself is scary, kind of like that smell of a hospital that gives me a stomach ache.
I’m Too Young For This!
This organization, which has the memorable domain name “StupidCancer.com” again focuses on a younger audience, and provides you with a whole host of resources if you or someone you know is battling cancer.
In the case of someone younger who gets cancer, it can completely destroy their career, hurt personal and romantic relationships, and cause family issues. I’m Too Young For This! points you to career advice and services if you’ve been through cancer, forums and bloggers who focus on what it’s like to go through the disease, as well as how to support someone who is going through it. The founders are extremely tech savvy, and host weekly podcasts on a whole host of topics.
These three organizations have a solid presence on social networking sites and have done a great job of not becoming a prototypical “cancer awareness” organization that scares us with statistics and medical jargon. These sites humanize and socialize the disease, and as Fuck Cancer notes, if every one of its Facebook fans donated $2.50 each, the organization would be funded for a year.
We can do that, and so much more.
Know of any other organizations kicking a disease’s ass that use the web in an awesome way? Email me about it.