Sunday, March 23, 2008

Orphaned Disease seeks Caring Corporation

CVS pharmacy has Caremark that provides financial gifts to cover pharmaceutical needs of "Miracle Workers" patients. "Miracle Workers" are a team of doctors who perform breakthrough procedures to heal those most in need. Procedures range from restoring vision to the blind to performing deep brain stimulation to dramatically reduce the motor symptoms associated with Parkinson's disease. ABC will provide a web site where viewers will be able to follow the patients beyond each episode to see first-hand how the procedures continue to transform their lives.
Chilis has Little Smiles a charitable organization that strives to fulfill the needs for children in local hospitals, hospices and shelters with toys, games, videos, computers, outings, special events, limousine transportation, concert and sporting event tickets, specialty dinners and celebrity meet and greets and more. Little Smiles is launching a year-round multi-dimensional effort to enhance the lives of ailing and life altering illnesses children in South Florida and now in Philadelphia, PA as well. Little Smiles currently assists children’s hospitals, hospices, and shelters in the South Florida area including Lee, Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, Martin, and St. Lucie Counties. The long-term plan includes being able to assist every county throughout Florida, Pennsylvania, and eventually on a complete national level.

I know of an orphaned disease in need of a little corporate companionship. This disease is ALS, known as Lou Gehrig's disease. Besides being labed orphaned this life treating illness has tragic dark sides long before it runs it's deadly course.

Three distinct situations leave patients with nowhere to turn and solutions of little hope.

Situation one involves single ALS patients that lose their jobs first and cannot react fast enough to make ends meet. They become trapped as the disease spirals out of control. Most are forced on family because there are no current alternatives.

Situation two belongs sadly to the ALS single parent. This case mirrors that of the single patient but is compounded by a small child. Planning in every direction ultimately leads to finding a new home for the child. Legal issues come into play as adoption decisions add to the chaos. If this disease is not cruel enough, giving a child away has to be living hell.

Situation three is divorce after an ALS diagnoses is made. It is a fact that marriages are being ripped apart by ALS. In this case ALS towers over love and a spouse is not able to handle the harsh realities this disease demands. Again, legal issue arise coupled with immediate care become high priorities. If I had accurate data you would see this is a trend just too hard to discuss.

Three tragic situations that need no more explanation and each cry out only to be noticed. We are not talking about a ton of aid with long term obligations but one last chance to live with grace and dignity.

I know this because I am a person coping with ALS.


Anonymous said...

Somebody once told me that we all listen to WII-FM. That's not a radio station. It's "What's in it for me."

Cause-based marketing is an important part of any major corporation's marketing plan. It's good business to do good.

ALS organizations need to show corporations what's in it for them to put some marketing dollars into ALS causes. It's not called cause-based "philanthropy." It's called cause-based "marketing," and the marketing folks need to know why ALS is a better cause for their investment that a lot of others.

ALS causes have to more than ask and say, "Thanks." They need to get smarter about becoming part of the fabric of corporate marketing.

Anonymous said...

The nonprofit sector is America's best hope for solving the pressing problems facing its communities. Unfortunately, too many nonprofits are high on mission and passion but weak on resources and strategy. As a result, they struggle to achieve the impact they seek, operating inefficiently, with limited use of technology and without access to expertise they need. To help small businesses in a similar situation, we have the Small Business Administration. What's needed is an SBA for nonprofits – a government agency that can provide funding and guidance to the nonprofit sector.
Shirley Sagawa