This Is How We CURE CANCER – 1 Fight At A Time

Fifteen years ago, virtual world pioneers in Second Life were hearing about a fundraising effort to ‘Cure Cancer’ called Relay For Life.  We didn’t all ‘get it’ but hell we’d all been touched in some way by cancer so why not get on board.

We raised a little in 2005 and a whole lot more in 2006 and 2007, but we also learned so much more about ‘Curing Cancer” and what the Relay For Life means, does, how it supports the American Cancer Society and how the Society leads the fight for a world without cancer.

As our knowledge grew our fundraising impact grew. And as our fundraising impact grew so did our ability to save lives.  We touched lives in and out of Second Life. We provided support of those who are touched by cancer either by diagnosis or being enlisted into becoming a caregiver for a loved one who has been.

Relay For Life of Second Life has become the “Rock Stars” of fighting cancer.  We are the Megan Rapinoes, the Kevin Durants and Drew Brees of the world of cancer fundraising. Ask a relayer why we do it and  we tell them because we can and do cure cancer every day. Because we save lives. We can quote facts and figures, URLs and phone numbers and we can get someone help 24 / 7 / 365.

And yet sometimes we feel like we are missing something. Missing the personal connection. Missing the ability to turn our altruism into passion and our passion into success.

Now many of you out there know I have passion, in fact I have been accused of being a Zealot.  Guilty on all charges. I have guzzled the Purple KoolAid, I gorged myself on purple Jelly beans and built my wardrobe around RFL T Shirts!  But even I get surprised once in a while.

Last Sunday I didn’t feel so hot, but it was 90 degrees and I had just finished a round of golf.  I had hydrated to excess, and had to pee, but nothing came out. A few minutes later again no luck but this time it burned and, hmm was that blood? I waited a little longer and this time it was painful and there was a lot of blood. 

My son took me to the ER and within a short time I was admitted with a urinary blockage.  The pain and inability to go led to catheterization and despite the best efforts of any number of super nurses and urology specialists I was still in agony and passing copious amounts of blood and blood clots.  

Now I am not writing this to share my misery but to share what I learned from this.  

Finally, after 4 days of doing it by the book, the Urology team rushed me to the OR.  What should have been a 90 minute procedure took 6 hours. The clots were removed including a 30 guage hematoma that could not have ever fit in the 24 guage catheter. Additionally a large tumor was found and removed.

So now is when we do it by the book right?

Now is the time when we say the ‘OMGs’ and ‘OH I’m so sorrys’ and ‘Oh I will Pray for Yous’ right?


Now is when we as ACS Volunteers, who have grown from Cure Cancer Do Gooders of RFL 2005, turn into a vibrant and passionate Army who go forward armed with the tools and information that Saves Lives Celebrates Lives and Leads the Fight For a World Without Cancer. 

Now is the time when we say We’ve got you back! 

We’ve got a plan for this! 

We can Treat This!


And that is just what my oncologist said this afternoon.  The man who has treated my leukemia for 16 years looked at me and said “OK, so make an appointment for Friday and lets get the pathology and figure out how we are going to beat this!”

And you know what.. That is just what I am going to do, what he is going to do and what we as a community are going to do.  

And by God THAT is how We Cure Cancer!

Because you cared enough to make a difference in an indifferent world. Thank You ACS Volunteers of Second Life and All Over!

Gene McFadden
Jersey Shore
uly 12, 2019