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Sunday, February 27, 2005

"We will not sponsor a[n American Cancer Society] Relay [for Life] team from Youth Group."

The email from my priest friend early this morning, regarding that prior post on my/our dilemma.

UPDATE, Sunday, March 6, 2005 (see below)

I'm thankful. Enormously so.

I don't know the "what-happened's" and I may never know. But I can guess that either 1) the American Cancer Society refused to allow our Youth Group to participate with the information poster on our overnight tent showing that abortion is one thing that increases women's risk of breast cancer, and/or 2) the discount coupon relationship from our state's ACS to Planned Parenthood combined with PP's advocacy of porn, sex toys, anal sex and other raunch on its website for teens, killed the whole idea.

I hope that we instead can do a fundraiser for children suffering from cancer via St. Jude Children Research Hospital. I offered to launch, promote and run this for the YG.

In doing so, I learned some really cool stuff is done by St. Jude Children Hospital:

Firstly, they're a pediatric cancer care/research center helping all patients even if they can't pay or have no insurance for the care.

And they have a whole host of ways to fundraise, supplying materials, videos and coordinators' guidebooks as well as prizes for donated amounts of $35, $75 or $100 like t-shirts and other appropriate prizes for each event:

  • Bowl-For-Life™
  • Math-A-Thon™(schools K- grade 9 can earn $10,000 or more worth of consumer equipment)
  • Bike-A-Thon™
  • Trivia Championships
  • Trike-A-Thon™
  • Rope of Hope (tug of war)
  • Miracle Mile Walk-A-Thon
  • "Workout for St. Jude" (held in conjunction with fitness clubs and members)
  • Martial Arts™ Event (An exhibition, kick-a-thon type event, board-breaking event, held by schools or clubs)
  • Head Over Heels for St. Jude Kids™ (cartwheels, flips, gymnastic type)
They even do a "Promesa y Esperanza ¡para los niños del St. Jude!" radiothon program w/ Hispanic radio stations.

Heck, I might even bring this up with my son's high school.

St. Jude Children Research Hospital already has helped over 1,000 kids and young adults with cancer treatments from hematopoietic stem cells (red and white blood cells develop from these). From what I can tell, they don't do embryonic stem cell research or treatment either:
"Some scientists at other institutions have obtained stem cells from human embryos. This highly controversial source of cells has not been used at St. Jude. Stem cells used for transplantation at the hospital are harvested solely from the blood or bone marrow of children or adults."
More info on their stem cell successes is found here, here, and here, which tells how they discovered in 2001 "what they believe to be the world’s first 'universal' stem cell marker ... a gene which allows scientists to identify stem cells from a variety of sources."

Very, very cool.

UPDATE, Sunday, March 6, 2005

Apparently the "sinking feeling," the "premonition" I wrote about in the comments 5 days ago, was valid: My priest (Youth Group Director), the Assistant Youth Director and some/most of the teens and parents are doing the ACS Relay after all, just not "officially" as our "Youth Group."

The problem remains. They might as well officially call themselves "Our Church Youth Group." It makes no difference to leave off the name.

Someone (not me) pointed them to this blog and now I'm being told that someone was "hurt" by my "action" to discuss this problem and ask for your prayers by blogging about it here.

Yet part of "the whole truth" was withheld from me by my priest and by the assistant director and would be still if I hadn't pressed for an answer about it and about the St. Jude Hospital alternative.

I found it not coincidental that when I lectored at Mass this morning, the reading was "Take no part in the fruitless works of darkness; rather expose them, for it is shameful even to mention the things done by them in secret; but everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for everything that becomes visible is light."

I won't go into the horrid details. But they really were "hoping she'd just go away."

I give up. They shot the messenger. It's up to God now.

If I sound sarcastic or bitter, I'm not. I'm heartbroken. They keep wanting me to see what I already see: the "goodness" in what they're trying to do. Yet they refuse to see also "the fruitless works of darkness" that result from their good intentions and actions.

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