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Yael Cohen

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Let's Talk About Sex, Baby

Posted: 06/06/2011 2:37 pm

Parents are awkward. It's a fact. They wear scrunchies in public, try to use "hip" words that make our skin crawl, and worst of all, just when we're at our most uncomfortable stage in life, they try to talk to us about sex. No familial relationship is strong enough to withstand a banana condom demonstration, there -- I said it. No matter how mortifying your sex talk was, deep down you knew that you got it because your parents loved you very much and wanted you to be safe (or just didn't want grandkids yet). Well, now it's our chance to return the favor; they sat us through the sex talk, now it's our turn to sit them through "The Cancer Talk". It's time to make sure our parents are being safe about cancer.

At FCancer, we've asked kids to talk to their parents about their family cancer history, earliest warning signs, and annual diagnostic tests since day one. Recently though, some of our supporters told us that starting that conversation was awkward. We spent some time scratching our heads and eating crackers, then figured out how to make it easier-- by using humor and celebrities. What better way to make people understand the potentially awkward yet necessary conversation that they need to have than to relate it to a conversation they've already had: The Sex Talk. Celebrity supporters of FCancer relay their funny, quirky, and awkward stories about when their parents sat them down to have The Sex Talk. They laugh, they cringe, they sometimes blush, but they always thank their parents for trying to keep them safe.

The videos are just the beginning though; once you're hooked on awkward sex, it's time to send your parents a phone call. Yes, you read correctly, but I promise in a few moments that won't seem so wrong. Users of "The Cancer Talk" campaign will answer a few questions about their parents in our custom app, which then generates a personalized call from one of our celebrity friends to tell your parents that you really want to talk. That's it. Nothing about cancer, just a voicemail from a stranger telling them that their kid has something important to talk to them about. Who says you can't scare someone into submission?

We're almost there, but now comes the really important part -- actually getting Gen Y to talk to their parents about cancer. Getting kids to talk to their parents on the best of days can be hard; getting them to talk about cancer can be impossible. We're here to help. We break it down and lay it out. We tell users how to start the conversation (bribes, scare tactics, and flattery are popular options) as well as what to ask, tell, and discuss. Not only do parents get a personalized celebrity phone call, the kids gets a personalized "Cancer Talk" manual, which they can refer to during the convo.

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"The Cancer Talk" campaign isn't just a means to an end -- it's an end in and of itself because it accomplishes three of FCancer's goals: having our supporters talk about their family cancer history, identifying the personal risk factors & early warning signs associated with these cancers, and encouraging family members to stay on top of their regular cancer screenings, both this year and every year.

This campaign has been a year in the making and I can't believe that we pulled it off. There have been tears, laughter, and many, many minutes of dancing. Now, we wait and see. Will this campaign start the thousands of family conversations about cancer that we intend it to? By pairing re-purposed technology with wit and humor, we've done all the dirty work and provided a way for you to jump the awkward conversation hurdle- so what are you waiting for? Get talking! Knowing that 90 percent of cancers are curable if caught in stage one was the motivation behind this whole movement, and we think it's time that everyone not only knows this, but does something about it. Join the conversation by going to cancertalk.letsfcancer.com and help us put an end to late stage cancer diagnosis today.

 

Follow Yael Cohen on Twitter: www.twitter.com/MsFuckCancer

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