Jumping over cracks in the sidewalk…
Making pillow-paths to avoid the molten carpet lava…
Sneaking flashlights into pillow forts after bedtime…
Slumber parties, ball games, slip-n-slides, building snowmen, roughhousing, climbing trees, running on the beach, chasing pigeons, jumping off swings, red rover, playing tag, field trips…
How many of those did you enjoy as a child? And let’s be honest — how many do you still enjoy? Sometimes the perfect tree is hard to stay out of, right? They may have banned red rover since I was in school (Broken arms? pshhh…), but I think that pretty much everything else is still a childhood “must.”
Photo by Maria Dattola
Read on to find out how to tweet a $2 donation without spending a dime!
But some kids don’t get to check some — or any — of these milestones off their lists. For some children, reality is more beeping tubes and wire than rustling tree branches. Cancer steals away childhood and all its memories yet to be made, but we can steal it right back. Nearly 75% of childhood cancers are curable today, and it doesn’t feel like such a leap to make it to 100% anymore.
We all have a role to play in the fight, and what better time than the holidays to take that first step? With social media today, we have so much power to incite change. Even if we don’t have the money to support treatment or research, we have a voice. We have time. We all something to give back.
My Role in the Fight
When I lived in Lexington, I volunteered with the Ronald McDonald House as an intern writing grants and then settled into my long-term volunteer home in the Family Room at the University of Kentucky Children’s Hospital. I spent time every week with families in the waiting room of the neonatal and pediatric ICU. These families were enduring the greatest struggles of their lives, and though I often ended up sitting in my car wiping away tears after a volunteer shift, I was honored to be part of their lives, if even for a short while. I learned that sometimes, even when you’re a broker-than-broke grad student, you can make all the difference in the world with a simple conversation or a few homemade holiday decorations. I was given their Volunteer of the Year award a couple years ago, and it still means the world to me.
And yeah — sometimes I got to hang out with Ronald…
Aflac, through their #Duckprints program, has raised more than $93 million to fight childhood cancer, and we can help get them to 100 by the end of 2015. All net proceeds from Duckprints merch, likes those little ice skaters up there, go to hospitals treating childhood cancer in the U.S. The Aflac Cancer Center in Atlanta, one of the largest childhood cancer centers in the country, provides room for researchers to innovate and work toward more cures and gives families a place to be together.
Austin Freeman, one of the kids treated there, went to the doctor at 10 years old for a persistent sore back. A handful of x-rays and a vigilant doctor led to a bone cancer diagnosis. Austin was treated at the Aflac Cancer Center, undergoing difficult radiation and chemo treatments, but he has been cancer-free since this past March — just one of many happy stories!
$2 for #Duckprints
For each Facebook, Twitter and/or Instagram post using #Duckprints, Aflac will contribute $2 per hashtag mention to the Aflac Cancer Center, up to a $2 million maximum. All you have to do to raise awareness and another $2 in the fight against childhood cancer is tweet. You’re doing it anyway, right? You can find Duckprints on Facebook, Twitter, and Instgram at the handle @AflacDuck.
Let me make it easy for you. Click here to tweet this right now, before you forget, to make a little bit of a difference today! “I’m joining @AflacDuck & @ShrimpSalad in the fight against childhood cancer! #Duckprints http://bit.ly/1HZwrld” Tweet this now by clicking here!
Aflac gives Duckprints Awards to people making a difference, so before you go, I just wanted to give my own personal little Duckprints Award to a fellow lettering junkie I had the pleasure of meeting since moving to the DC area. Jay and Melanie Selway have been waging their own little war on pediatric cancer since Joe Henson was diagnosed with medullablastoma (a highly aggressive and malignant form of brain cancer), at 11 years old. They raise money through the Fear Isn’t Real campaign, and you can grab these beautiful coasters in their shop Jumbie Industries.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.