Apparently I do. This weekend, a not-so-nice article on FCancer was published in a local paper, the Vancouver Sun. I'm getting ahead of myself. The article was written because a local store, Moule, chose to put our logos in their window...uncensored. This elicited instant and extreme responses, both highly positive and highly negative. Supporters of the movement jumped to our defense within minutes. A lively Twitter discussion ensued, and...cue local media. The local media, who previously avoided me like a mid-dinner telemarketer, are now making calls, writing emails, and sending carrier pigeons my way. Now, this isn't to say that I don't appreciate the chance to spread the message (and hopefully get a few more people on the early detection train) but the frantic nature of the requests has me wondering if this is a good story, or a bring-your-lunch fight in the schoolyard.
I was shocked to see that the word f*ck can still elicit a threat. In all fairness, most of the resisters were quick to switch sides after a five minute conversation about the movement. I am aware that the F-bomb opens doors for this movement and starts the much needed conversation about cancer, but I am also confident that we have the substance to sustain a long term movement. This is so much more. The unrelenting skeptics who are unwilling to listen or learn need to realize that years ago, Cancer was the "C word," and in years to come, I'm sorry to say, but the "F word" will probably just be f*ck. This campaign is so far from a media grab, it's disgusting to even suggest it.
I never intended on starting a charity. I never intended on losing sleep, friends, and any semblance of a personal life to embark on this mission. And that's what this is, a mission, mission catalyzed by the realization that my mom is mortal, and cancer can take her away from me. A mission catalyzed by seeing the woman, who was Superwoman in my eyes, taken to her knees by this horrible disease. A mission catalyzed by having to wash my mother's hair for her, because she couldn't do it herself. So I'm sorry if f*ck offends, but f*ck that. F*ck losing my innocence and naivety. F*ck crying myself to sleep for a year. F*ck seeing my dad cry for the second time in my life. F*ck Cancer.
This movement is so much more than f*ck. This is the first movement to talk to the youth about cancer. No one talks to us about it because we're not in the highest-risk demographic and we certainly aren't the large donors; but I hate to break it to you, we are the generation that will put an end to late-stage cancer diagnosis, so it's time someone realized the untapped potential of our generation. We are the generation that teaches our parents more than any other generation ever has. We are the motivated, quizzical, impatient generation that will be looking for cancer instead of just finding it. We are the f**cking generation that's kick-starting a new battle on cancer. Join us.
It's worth noting, the author of the original Vancouver Sun article issued a second piece days later that was highly complementary and supportive. The movement got coverage on multiple radio and TV stations, newspapers, and the front cover of The Province Newspaper (pictured above). So thank you to the cynics. You have not only helped me spread the message, but have indeed proved my point, and gotten a whole city talking about cancer and how to find it in stage one. Every movement has its resistance, and I appreciate the perspective I gain by seeing this movement from all sides; however, let us never underestimate the power of conversation, and the power of the youth.
Follow Yael Cohen on Twitter: www.twitter.com/MsFuckCancer