Saturday, November 3, 2012

the lonely vigil "Shine A Light On Lung Cancer"

As someone surviving lung cancer and the lone attendee at the Lung Cancer Alliance Shine a Light on Lung Cancer Vigil: Hershey, PA ... I frankly am at a loss how to feel.

For an event that was promoted to “provide hope and compassion and empower attendees” and “a moving event and not one to be missed” it certain failed to live up to its hype as no one was there. Neither attendees nor organizers were to be found.  … Nor did LCA contact respond to any of my emails since registering in advance for this promoted Vigil.

While Lung Cancer Alliance is known for their national advertising campaigns tonight’s experience leaves me wondering about how ...
... translates to 'boots on the ground"? ... I sure felt alone tonight!

Is it that no one locally cares? No one survives? Or local organizers just got overwhelmed? If I let my mind wander this could get unnerving.

On the other I was personally able to raise lung cancer awareness among a young couple in love looking for a less well lit part of the park and two skateboarders all of whom noticed me sitting alone on the wall with my hat emblazoned with “lung cancer survivor” and took the time to say “hi”. (Though most likely they suspected I was a cop and just wanted to inspect the hat closer.)  Hey! Awareness works in mysterious ways.

So it was not a total waste for a 45˚F (7.2 ˚C) evening in November. It was a +4 for Lung Cancer Awareness Month ... and after all due to early detection of lung cancer, 10 months later I am not only alive but doing a lot better than ol' Humpty Dumpty sitting on that wall.

P.S. (Mon 11/5) I did hear from Lung Cancer Alliance national office this morning. They were most apologetic - apology accepted - and concerned about their local representative who they now realize they also have not heard from either before or since scheduled vigil. 

Patrick Leer
Caregivingly Yours, MS Caregiver @


  1. Was the date a typo? That is pretty messed up... I wonder if the Portland event will consist of the 16 friends of mine that are going?

    Boo to the LCA on that one!

    1. Hi Kim, I have no idea what went wrong. LCA has not responded to email or tweets before or since. The Lung Cancer Alliance certainly pushes the envelope with advertising campaigns but I am not finding them much on communicating.

      Because I have been involved in decades of MS Walks due to my wife's Multiple Sclerosis my antennae are just always up when confronted with new charitable fundraising events before I attempt to involve others. I prefer to see, touch and feel for myself - in this case such caution my have been justified.