F Cancer

As the news broke that another talented performer had died this week, twitter was again full of sadness, anecdotes, video clips and personal memories. As before, aside from the obvious link of the individual involved, another fairly common denominator of these tweets was the hashtag #FuckCancer. And yes, as an expression of anger that someone else whose performances had given many of us fond memories and is no longer around to give us more of them, it works.

But that’s all it does. Maybe that’s all you wanted it to do, and if so, I have no problem with that. Most of us have been touched by this despicable condition in some way or other, and it’s very rarely – if ever – any sort of positive experience. So I’m not here to tell you how you should be managing your grief, rage, disappointment or any other emotion. S’not my job.

I will say, though, that I can quite easily foresee a situation in which we will continue to see the #FuckCancer hashtag twenty or thirty years down the line as the next generation of talent (yes, it does exist) also succumbs to cancer. Because using a hashtag this week isn’t going to make any difference to our fight against this heinous group of diseases.

I recognise that times are hard right now – especially economically, and especially in South Africa, where some (or more) of my readers reside. But (and I also recognise that this next sentence requires a bit of a stretch), if you felt strongly enough to express your anger is hashtag form, maybe you want to take it one step further and donate some money towards making a difference.

Now, I’m not here to tell you how to manage your pounds, rands, dollars or any other currency. S’not my job.
But I’ll just leave these links here, and if you genuinely do want to #FuckCancer, maybe you might want to click on them and do more than just share a symbol and ten letters.

Cansa (South Africa)
Cancer Research UK (er… UK)
Cancer Research Institute (USA)

Have a great day.

Going away this summer? Don’t forget a postcard for Josh.

READ THIS! DO THIS! (please) 😉

UPDATE: Please note: This is genuine and not a hoax. Promise. 
Josh is the nephew of a friend of a schoolmate of mine. 

Bored of signing online petitions that never seem to make difference? Tired of your hashtags on social media repeatedly going unnoticed by the powers that be? Slacktivism just isn’t what it used to be, is it?

And yes, you want to be the someone who makes things happen, but you’re just not one of those people that picks up a placard and stands outside parliament angrily shouting stuff about fracking or Palestine.

It’s time to up your game, but baby steps, baby steps…

I’m here to help. So, here’s a way that you can make a difference without holding a stick or being assaulted by the local police force. It’s as easy as sending a postcard. Sure, it’s a bit more effort than hitting shift-3 just to “raise awareness”, but this is different, because bizarrely, what you are doing will actually make a difference.

I know. Crazy, isn’t it?

Here’s the story:

A Hixon family are appealing for summer travelers to help their poorly 7 yr old son.
Josh, who is undergoing treatment for Leukaemia was set a school summer project of writing a diary about the activities and places he went to during the holidays. However, due to the nature of his illness he is unable to travel so has set about a project of his own, collecting postcards sent to him from others on their travels.

Josh’s treatment has left him neutropenic – basically he has no immune system at the moment and so he’s very prone to infections. He can’t go out and about like you or I are able to. So yes, a quick postcard to Josh from your holiday destination – or, in fact, any destination – will be gratefully received by Josh and would put a smile on his face. And thus, you could easily imagine that 2, or 5, or 10, or 100 postcards would have an even greater effect.


I know what you’re thinking: you’re thinking that by the time you read this, someone else will probably have already sent one from Cape Town or Joburg (do they have postcards in Joburg?) or Durban or wherever you are right now, so there’s no point in you doing it. But actually, I don’t think that matters one little bit. Who cares if ten postcards from Cape Town drop through Josh’s letterbox one morning? That’s ten postcards for him and it’s ten people who have made the effort to tell him that they’re thinking about him. These things are hugely important when you are seven and not very well.

I want this to go big – I want Josh inundated with postcards from South Africa and you guys have an excellent record in this regard: remember the amazing response when I asked you to find a Rabbit 4 Nic? And that was an extremely rare and elusive toy bunny – this is just a postcard!
I know that we can do it again.

Use the buttons below to RT this post on twitter and share it on Facebook.
Tell your friends, if you have any, and tell them to tell their friends too.

Josh’s address for your postcards:

Joshua Johns,
2 Swansmoor Drive,
ST18 0FP
United Kingdom

And they’ve set up a Facebook page so you can follow their progress.

Now, get to it!

In case you need to be told

Because some of my FB friends do: Likes don’t save lives.


That’s the tagline of a new campaign by UNICEF in Sweden. They’re encouraging people do donate money rather than just click a button. Because while the clicks are absolutely lovely, they don’t actually do anything. They’re just an easy way to pretend you’re making a difference. It’s slacktivism at its worst.

Of course, far fewer people will put their money where their click was. But it’s worth remembering that even a single cent is still worth more to charity than any number of those likes.

(Oh, and while we’re on the subject, actually, “one like ? one prayer”, although both are worthless, as mentioned above, it’s likely to do about as much good. i.e. none.)