You may consider this blog post click bait, and, let me tell you, you wouldn’t be wrong. I am desperate at this point, and not beyond employing a little click bait.
Do I really think Mark Zuckerberg hates kids with cancer? No, probably not. I mean, he’d have to be some sort of a monster, right? And yet . . . and yet.
In a few days time I am hosting our fifth annual St. Baldrick’s shave event to help raise money for research focused on pediatric cancer. Yesterday I shared a link to the event, encouraging donations. 328 people saw that post. 328 people out of the 28,000+ that follow my Mary Tyler Mom Facebook page. Each time I have shared the event, less than 500 subscribers have seen the link.
That happens sometimes, more and more these days. The Facebook algorithms are a mystery to me. Actually, it’s not a mystery at all. Zuck wants me to pay for subscribers to see my things. He hasn’t unilaterally shut me down. Yesterday I mused that if I had another child I would name that child Wren. Pure nonsense. Lots of folks saw that silly status, over 10K, in fact.
Five years of shaving events have netted over $400K for research specific to childhood cancer through the Donna’s Good Things campaign for St. Baldrick’s — much of that raised via the Internet through readers and supporters of my daughter Donna after having read her story, via Facebook, of course. But it is a different world on Facebook these days. Much different than when I first told and shared Donna’s story five years ago.
Here’s the truth: I will never pay to share things via Facebook. I just won’t. I have no guarantee that, if I did pony up my dollars, the shares would be within the 28K subscribers I have. They could be from Joe Schmoe who doesn’t give a fig that I had a daughter named Donna and that she died of cancer. They could be going to the assholes who make memes featuring my girl as a suffering child from stolen photos — memes that whenever are reported to me I immediately report to Facebook asking for their removal, but without success.
Truth is, I am tired. I am tired of asking people to care about childhood cancer. I am tired of the kids I see in my feeds who are relapsing, and dying because the science hasn’t yet caught up with their overachieving cancer cells. I am tired of trying to educate folks that our federal government doesn’t fund research for pediatric cancer, nor does private pharma, because it is considered so very rare. This, despite cancer being the number one disease killer of children in America. This despite the fact that a child is diagnosed with cancer ever three minutes. I am just plain tired.
And, somehow, it is easier for me to come to my keyboard and bang out my frustrations than to do anything else today. My friends tell me to migrate to Instagram or Twitter. Others tell me the exact opposite. I don’t know. My frustration and fatigue are catching up with me.
Okay. Sometimes you just need to whine it out, know what I mean? Today I need to whine and kvetch and complain. It runs a number on me to perpetually ask folks to remember my daughter who died of cancer. To remind folks that while my daughter is dead, many, many other kids are still living with their cancers or are on the cusp of diagnosis and need some advocates in their corner. When I do what I need to do to help and Zuck repeatedly silences me, well, yes, that makes me angry and cranky. Enough to write a blog post asking why he hates kids with cancer. It’s preposterous, I know, but here I am.
And the thing that would make me really, really happy would be if this click bait blog post of mine were to go viral — shared by thousands and thousands of folks who, too, are tired of Facebook for whatever reason.
And the thing that would make me ecstatic would be if all of you reading this clicked on this link for our St. Baldrick’s shave event on March 19 and decided to donate $5 or $10 or $20 or $100 bucks to help researchers do what they can for children and families like mine, living with cancer. You can click here for that.
And the thing that would make me lose my freaking mind would be if Mark Zuckerberg himself PM’d me and said, “Hey, that’s really not very fair what you said about me on the Facebook.” And I would respond, “Yeah, I know — it was a low blow born out of frustration. Please accept my apologies. Hey, while I have your attention, can I tell you a little bit about childhood cancer in America today?” And we went on to have a substantive exchange and he used just a wee bit of his fortune to fund some research for pediatric cancer himself.
Yeah, that would be cool. Then I would know, for sure, that Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t hate kids with cancer.