Whats Wrong With These Cancer Charities?????

I had a very bad experience with a cancer charity today and after being upset all day I decided the best way to deal with it was to vent here on my blog.

I think most, if not all, of you know I am a cancer fighter. I live in Sunny Florida but receive my treatments and follow ups at Dana Farber Cancer Institute. For the past two years I have flown up to Boston every three months for Surgery, PET Scans and other fun doctor appointments. For the first year the cost of these flights came out of my pocket (or my parents pockets). Then I was told, by a fellow fighter who lost her battle, that there were services for people battling cancer who needed to fly. And so I started using one of these organizations, Mercy Medical Airlift, and they were wonderful!

Because I fly so much I had to find another charity to help me with my flights and let others use the services of Mercy Medical (they are a small organization with limited funds). So began the very difficult search for help. To say it mildly it did not go well....

I was put in contact with a charity called Miracle Flights. This charity requires you send a photo of yourself before they will donate a flight. I have gone through several other charities for free flights to treatment centers and have never been asked for a photo of myself. To ask is one thing but these people REQUIRE it before they will consider giving you a flight for cancer treatment.

Having cancer is horrible. Telling friends and family that you have cancer is difficult. Letting current or future jobs know of your diagnosis is also unfair and at times humiliating...cancer becomes a part of your identity. If you need assistance to pay for services you are required to share all your very personal medical information, call many numbers, talk about your cancer and divulge extremely personal information just to get some assistance. I understand why this is and that its necessary but to take it a step further and also require I send you a photo of myself, thats one step too far.

What could be the purpose? Everyone knows you cannot get on a flight without a picture ID. All my medical information includes my full name and social security number. I know what they want my photo for....PROMOTION! Well to that I say "NO" I am not going to be exploited because I have cancer. You do not get a picture of a sick young woman who needs chemo/radiation and surgeries. It makes me sad that a charity that is suppose to be doing something good insists they have the right to require so much from the one in need. They feel its their right to know every personal detail about your battle with cancer and then put a photo of you in their file to complete their intrusion.

I would rather not get my treatment than to let an organization violate my privacy any more than it already has!

17 comments:

The World As Der Sees it. said...

Right on Meaghan..right on..you didn't need this...I admire that..what would happen if it was a bed ridden old lady with no camera or web cam..so she doesnt get to live cause she isnt pretty..wtf this makes me mad!

~Mrs. Guru~ said...

I agree. They shouldn't make it a requirement. Praying for you.

cancersucks said...

I'm sorry you had to deal with that today. Hopefully they will change their policy after your post. Keep searching and I hope you can find a different charity to help you with your travel costs.

Kelley with Amy's Angels said...

TERRIBLE!!!

The offer still stands...if you need me to go sit on these people, put them in a half Nelson, I will. : )

Sara Williams said...

It is ok if you are willing to give your details for charity use but not compulsary. Its not fair!

Emma Hughes said...

How awful meaghan! i only just came across your blog today via sits and im totally following. what a horrible thing you have been through and i think it is wonderful that you are writing and helping spread the word.

following you.

Sea Wolf Labs said...

Pffft...I completely, 100% agree with you, Meaghan. That's BS, I'm sorry but they canNOT justify requiring a photo, imo.

Good for you for standing up to them.

Janet said...

Ugh, that whole photo thing just doesn't seem right. Are they only helping good-looking people? Very unfair.

Wanted to let you know also, I left you a little award over on my blog. :-)

Joni said...

You could send them a pic of you "giving cancer the bird"... **whistles sweetly**

Peterson Family said...

Stopping by from SITS...

I can't believe they want a photo! That is ridiculous! I can understand wanting to document who you really are, but I think that crosses the line!

Michelle said...

I totally agree thats entirely wrong if the photo is for promotion purposes.
did you ask specifically what the photo is for? did you ask about the charities privacy policy and what information if any they share?

♥ Teresa ♥ said...

I'm stopping by from SITS for the first time, just to show some comment love and support. Since this is my first time here, I'm not at all familiar with your situation so please forgive me if I'm asking a really dumb question! I was wondering if you are familiar with Angel Flight? I've been in the medical field for over 20 years and I've just heard a lot of good stuff about them. Here's their website just in case:

http://www.angelflightcentral.org/

Good luck to you! You will be in my prayers.

Blessings,

Teresa <><

http://toomanyheartbeats.blogspot.com/

Deb said...

Good for you for standing up for yourself. Sounds like you kick a lot more than cancer's ass!

I also work in healthcare publishing and have heard positive things about Angel Flights.

Unknown Mami said...

As if what you are going through is not invasive enough. I am so sorry that happened to you and that they are "requiring" the same of others.

bluecottonmemory said...

It amazes me the groups that do bless so many people who have cancer or other health problems. What giving hearts people have in our country. I guess there's always one bad apple in the lot, though!

What courage you have! I'll be praying for you!

KrippledWarrior said...

I love your spirit. But I suggest you try using their rules against them. Send a pic of you flipping the 1 finger salute. You send a pic as they require. But they can't use it for promoting themselves & You get a free-ride. Some situations justify anarchy.
KW

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