Feeling bad because you swiped the last bagel at Starbucks? Don’t. There are actually evil people in the world, like Brittany Ozarowski, 21, who pretended to have bone and brain cancer to bilk concerned family and friends out of hundreds of thousands of dollars to support her heroin habit.
Ozarowski, of Medford, New York, got $100,000 from her grandmother, who sold her house to fund her faux cancer treatment. Her father cashed in his retirement fund to offer up another $25,000. She also targeted Walter Warren, a neighbor who had lost his own son to cancer in 2007. Keep reading »
Fighting cancer is difficult for anyone, but especially for people who lead particularly active lives before their diagnoses. John Wilson was an avid hiker, biker and basketball player before being diagnosed with Epithelioid sarcoma in 2006. A rare and aggressive soft tissue cancer, treatment required that Wilson’s left leg be amputated. Undaunted, within months, Wilson was back to some of his favorite activities, and quickly realized the therapeutic power of sports and nature. In 2010, he founded the AKP — Always Keep Pedaling — Foundation, dedicated to helping other cancer survivors regain their zest for life via outdoor adventure activities. “At AKP we believe that the best way to build confidence is to take healthy risks,” says Wilson.”The purpose of the AKP Foundation is to build the confidence of young adults who have suffered physically altering trauma due to cancer by helping them find adventure through adaptive sports.” Twice a year, Wilson and AKP host a retreat, inviting young cancer survivors who might not otherwise have the means or access, to come together and bond while taking part in fun physical activities like skiing and biking. The experience has been life-changing, and many participants say that it’s what’s helped them move on from surviving to really living again. I dare you to get through this video without tearing up. And to find out how you can help cancer survivors click here. [AKP Foundation]
Katelyn Norman, a 14-year-old from Tennessee, suffers from an aggressive form of bone cancer called osteosarcoma. Last weekend, her doctors told her ”it has spread a lot, my cancer, and that it’s the beginning of the end of my days.” Katelyn wrote up a bucket list, which included attending her high school prom, and her school obliged, planning a prom especially for her that was set to take place on Tuesday evening.
Unfortunately, on the way to the dance, Katelyn experienced difficulty breathing and and had to be airlifted back to her room at Tennessee Children’s Hospital. Undeterred by the setback, Katelyn’s school brought prom to her: in a hospital room decorated with streamers, Katelyn’s date gave her a corsage, and she was presented with a “Prom Queen” sash. When Katelyn looked out the window, she saw hundreds of people from her community gathered in a vigil for her. “We just want to give her what she ain’t going to see,” says Katelyn’s mother. “Just try to fulfill what she wants to do, which isn’t much, but it’s something to her.” See a couple more pictures of Katelyn’s special night after the jump… Keep reading »
If you haven’t had a chance to read Kate Bornstein’s memoir, A Queer and Pleasant Danger, go out right now and buy it. The woman has lived an incredible life — from being a male Scientology scout, to prize-winning playwright, trans activist and gender outlaw — and somehow managed to keep her wits and sense of humor through it all.
And now, after all of that, Kate’s battling cancer. Keep reading »
Did you know that about 10,000 “young” women will get breast cancer this year? I do now. I am one of them.
It all started while my boyfriend and I were away for a long weekend to celebrate my 29th birthday. We were lying in bed and I reached my arm across my body. There it was — a lump, in my breast. It was big, and it was bumpy; it felt like a mutant cauliflower had taken root in the soft tissue of my otherwise pillowy breasts.
This was new. Three short months earlier, I had had a breast exam during my yearly OB-GYN exam. My doctor didn’t feel a thing. I had always been hyper aware of my breasts, ever since an ex-boyfriend found a 2 cm jelly bean (which turned out to be a harmless fyberadenoma) and my doctor had told me that I should pay attention to it and watch for changes.
That jellybean was my first of what would be many biopsies. Keep reading »
Ladies, do you love a mustache? (I don’t — keep your disgusting facial hair away from me). If you do, though, you’ll be happy to know that tomorrow is the start of Movember, a month-long mustache-growing festival to raise awareness about prostate and testicular cancer. Mo Bros, as they’re called, proudly display their repulsive facial hair, hold mustache-growing contests and raise money to support men’s health causes. [YouTube]
Boing Boing co-editor Xeni Jardin was diagnosed with breast cancer last year and started treatment–a brutal trifecta of chemo, surgery, and radiation–in January. When she finally finished, her friend Michael mentioned that she deserved a medal for her accomplishment. And then he made her one, complete with an inscription declaring her the winner of the “Poison, Cut, Burn Tri.” Jardin was thrilled: “I want to give one to everyone I meet who makes it through to a similarly meaningful milestone in their cancer treatment,” she says. “This is so much better than a pink ribbon.” Keep reading »
This breast cancer PSA raises awareness the same way that naked models for PETA raise awareness about veganism — which is to say, not at all, really. It’s a shame that “Bridemaids”‘s Chris O’Dowd lent his talents to this spoof Coppafeel PSA for male breast cancer awareness because it’s really stupid. Keep reading »
I was never that woman who dreamt of having many children or starting my own “Brady Bunch.” Babies, little booties, and bottles were always an afterthought to enjoying a successful career, one peppered with travelling the world and enjoying a range of other adult activities a childless, flexible lifestyle could provide. However, after my husband Jason was diagnosed with leukemia and underwent a bone marrow transplant (which I wrote about here), it would be an understatement to say that my priorities and narrow definition of family underwent a fundamental revolution. One year post-cancer, I began to dwell on the thought of living and dying without a family of my own.
Cancer had forced mortality to become an issue that often occupied my thoughts during sleepless nights or long car rides, and in my worst nightmare, I became the modern antagonist of some sort of widowed cat lady fairy tale. I imagined myself an old hag with cracked skin in a big castle, hoarding treasure and cackling wildly all by myself, full of bitterness and regret over my own solitude. The adult lifestyle that once felt so plush suddenly transformed into a thorny horror story, and Jason and I decided to try IVF. Keep reading »
“I want to clear something up for you all, because it seems that something I said has been taken way out of context, as is often the case with quotes pulled from interviews. In a recent magazine interview, I told of how I had called a female fan who was battling cancer, and she told me how she had watched the show and seen how I had faced my own struggles, and had been inspired by how I had found the courage to change a situation that was making me unhappy.”
– Okay, so a few weeks ago, Kim Kardashian gave an interview in which she directly compared the lessons she learned from getting married on TV (and subsequently getting divorced) to the lessons learned by a little girl battling cancer. Exact quote:
“We decided to film for the wedding. And that was a decision that he and I made together. But I think that, with any decisions in life, like, I spoke to a girl today who had cancer and we were talking about how this is such a hard thing for her, but it taught her a big lesson on who her friends are and so much about life. She’s 18. And I was like, that’s how I feel.”
But now Kim is basically saying, “No, no, no, that’s not what I meant. What I really meant was that this little girl with cancer was innnnnnspirrrrrrrred by my courrrrrrrage during that incredibly difficult, horrible, and lucrative period of my life in which I married a guy on TV and then divorced him 72 days later.” Oh, okay then. So much … worse? [Kim Kardashian]