Saturday, September 6, 2008

clarifications about money and this blog

The other day, I received an e-mail from someone whose name I didn't recognize, the main point of which was this:
I am really offended that you are asking readers for money. You are obviously an upper middle class woman with a home, a husband with a job, health insurance and all the economic advantages of middle class life. I would be far more impressed with your struggle if you weren't begging people to help support you. If you asked people to contribute to a general fund to benefit for all people with cancer(ie. The Tomorrow Fund or the cancer equivalent ot God's Love, We Deliver), to help families with far fewer means at their disposal than you have, I would respect it, but to ask people to send funds that only benefit your family seems really selfish.

Me? An upper-middle-class woman begging selfishly for money? Wow. I hope that's not how I come across on this blog.

Normally, I would not comment on something like this. After all, it's my blog, and I can do whatever I want with it, and if you are offended by it, you don't have to read it. At the same time, I don't want to be the cause of any misperceptions or discomfort that could be avoided. So I thought I would clarify a few things, in case anyone else has had the same impression as the e-mail writer.

• The information about our family's benefit fund has never been meant as a request for money. I put it there because people — many, many people — have asked us how they can help us financially, and I thought my blog would be a convenient place to let people know. It's a piece of information. It is not there as a means to solicit, beg, or otherwise ask for money. That said, I can see how it might have come across that way, which is why I moved it to a less prominent page with a link on the "If you're just joining us" sidebar.

• If you want to support us, that's great — we're grateful. If you want to support someone else, that's great, too. Steve and I are all for people supporting other cancer organizations and other people with cancer, especially those who are struggling financially. Go for it! (And while we're at it, let's work to end poverty, create affordable housing, improve public education, preserve the environment for our children, and elect Barack Obama your favorite candidate to the presidency!)

• This blog is not meant to be any type of public relations tool to further my cancer cause or "impress people with my struggle." I've been blogging for far longer than I knew I had cancer, and I will continue to blog about what's on my mind and in my heart. I'm happy to have you along for the ride, dear readers, but I am less interested in what people think of me than in how honestly and truthfully I am expressing myself.

Questions? Comments? Suggestions? Confessions? A debate on the purpose and responsibility of blogs? Let's discuss it via e-mail. I'm closing this post to public comments.