One of the many children I follow on Facebook, Super Sammy–who’s bravely fighting neuroblastoma (https://www.facebook.com/SamuelJohnsonFoundation)–posted a disgusting letter written by Andrew Becker, Director of Media Relations at the American Cancer Society. In it, he essentially bashes the people trying to persuade Mattel to create a bald Barbie in honor of girls fighting cancer. Of course, the proceeds would go to childhood cancer research. However, Becker argues that “childhood cancer is exceedingly rare” and that people are wrong to “pressure” Mattel into creating a doll that would serve such a tiny group of people.
First of all, I’d love to know where Mr. Becker went to college. I feel sorry for that school, having to boast him as a graduate. Because, as chair of a department that teaches public relations, I feel confident saying that his letter is the absolute antithesis of what we teach our students about what public relations practitioners should do. So he fails at his profession right from the start. Screw you, Mr. Becker.
Second, Mr. Becker obviously chooses to hide his ignorant head in the sand. Because if he were aware–if he were to look at my Facebook timeline, for example–he would see that childhood cancer is NOT rare. It is real and it is killing children left and right.
Third, thankfully, Moxie already beat Mattel to the punch. They already have a line of bald dolls to benefit childhood cancer research. I saw them for myself at Toys R Us. Screw you, Mr. Becker.
Fourth, it should be noted that the American Cancer Society does almost NOTHING to contribute to childhood cancer research. Most of what they raise goes to overhead, including the salary of their CEO and travel expenses, among other things. Screw you, Mr. Becker.
I easily could go on and on about the blatant ignorance of Mr. Andrew Becker. But I won’t. Instead, I implore you to read the words of Maya Thompson, whose beautiful almost-four-year-old son, Ronan, was killed by neuroblastoma. She said it all better than I ever could. If her words don’t shame Mr. Andrew Becker, nothing will:
Oh, and on behalf of the thousands of children killed by this “exceedingly rare” disease and the other thousands of brave warriors still fighting this “exceedingly rare” disease, I say:
Screw you, Mr. Becker.