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Cancer Agencies ignore offers of help to Cancer Patients

Article by Michael F. McDougall

Cancer Agencies ignore offers of help to cancer patients. At least, that has been my experience…So far.

My sister, Marie, was my only sibling, when she was diagnosed with cancer; she kept a brave face and soldiered on, as they say. When the initial cancer was killed by Chemo, we thought that she had it made. About a year later she called me with the news that she had absolutely no Bone Marrow left and needed me to get checked for a Bone Marrow match. The good news came about a week later; we were a 6 out of 6 match…Wow! You can’t get better than that, right! Wrong!! Marie lived that last year of her life on my donated marrow, and then she died. She had just turned 41 years old, not very old at all.

Marie was a very talented artist. During her chemo and marrow transplant she worked on a painting that she named, “The Painting”. She told me that she really couldn’t put a name to it…It just was! The painting contained her hopes, her personal thoughts, and some things that she saw everyday while sitting in Princess Margaret Hospital, looking out the window and thinking about life, death and everything in between. What would your thoughts be in this situation? Would you worry about loved ones? Would you worry about the afterlife? Would you worry about the pain of dying? Would all of these thoughts flood your brain until you really didn’t know what you were thinking?

Marie had all of these thoughts and one more. She wanted to be able to help people through this, somehow. She wanted people to have hope, even when it seemed like that was just a foolish dream. Hope is one of the words on her painting. It is there for many reasons, one is that without Hope we have very little to carry us through hard times, the other is that it made her feel good. You see, Marie had a teacher in grade 5 named Miss Hope; she was a special teacher in that she actually liked her students, and they liked her. Marie never forgot her, even 30 years later, Miss Hope had an effect. I never had her as a teacher, and I can still see her as plain as day, singing at the piano in her classroom. That was 38 years ago for me! She was a life-force!!

Is there a Miss Hope in your life? Is there still hope? I hope so! (Pardon the pun)

Marie has been gone for years now and I still think of her daily. Her memory and her wish that I get her painting out to cancer patients, to help with their HOPE, is still driving me, and will continue to do so.

I have reached out Hospitals, cancer organizations, hospices, and advocacy groups, really anyone that I felt could pass this on to those who may get a lift or inspiration from Marie’s work. I have offered a jpeg (copy) of “The Painting” to everyone that has expressed an interest as well as every group that I could think of. The initial reaction to “The Painting”, is usually a quiet sigh, followed by, “that’s beautiful”. That is from the patients themselves. Every patient that I have given this too has it mounted somewhere that it can be seen daily, as they actually get inspiration from Marie. That is what she wanted, with nothing in return.

At the time of this writing I have had almost no response from Hospitals, advocacy groups or any other agency; Just cancer patients, who are glad to have a small piece of my sister. Even though people within these groups have felt Marie’s presence through her work, it seems to go absolutely nowhere. Why is this?

I have been forced to conclude that it is simply that I have asked for absolutely nothing in return, and therefore this offer has no value. It is an old adage that people only place value on things that they have to actually pay for, if it is free, then it is worthless.

I have been having a very hard time understanding this from the cancer agency point of view. It is free and makes people feel good!! So what is wrong with that? I have offered to speak about my experience with cancer, which has taken most of my family. Again, free of charge and again, no interest whatsoever from those who are giving us the care we need.

Anybody reading this can have a free copy of Marie’s work, “The Painting”. Just email me and I will send it to you…NO CHARGE! See there it is again! If you have gotten this far then maybe you can actually get an emotional benefit from Marie’s pain.If you do…Thank You! I am glad that it helped and please pass it along to anyone that you feel will enjoy it and maybe pass it along to another.

With absolute pleasure,

Marie’s little brother, (She used to call me that to annoy me…I really miss that)


About the Author

Formally educated in; Real Property Administration/Valuation, Construction, Regulatory & Administrative Law, Mediation/Arbitration, Sales and Marketing; A person with the innate confidence and learned competence to achieve workable outcomes. An experienced and effective communicator, committed to continuous learning.

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