It seems so easy these days to rise from utter obscurity to the star stratosphere with world-over name recognition and all the multi-million dollar deals that follow. All one needs, according to my scientific assessment, is a sex tape, a disproportionately large back side, and a penchant for posting naked or half-naked photos of oneself on social media platforms.
If I could choose one thing I want for Christmas this year, it’s an “unauthorized” video release of cholangiocarcinoma (dirty little vixen that she is) having a 25-minute foray with some former lover in which she stares pseudo-seductively into the camera with injected lips pursed and monster-truck sized derriere prominently displayed. From there, the money would roll in like a bore tide, carrying with it licensing deals, night club appearances and reality TV show contracts begetting even more money. Before you know it, the once-unknown “cholangi” would be flush with cash, commanding several hundred G’s just to get out of bed in the morning.
Alas, this rare cancer of the bile ducts lacks all the necessary bits to achieve my Christmas wish. Unfortunately, I cannot step in for her, as my sex-tape ship has long since sailed—to say nothing of the fact that my back side is now all but non-existent. Sadly, I’ll have to find some other, more imaginative ways to bring attention to this awful disease and raise money for research to cure it or at least provide some better treatment options. I asked at the outset of this adventure, “why go viral when you can go stage IV cancer?” But I think I’ve learned why – the former is quite lucrative, while the latter generally is not.
My fundraising efforts through Cycle for Survival have been incredibly successful thus far by the estimation of many. In just over one week, my team, Bike for the Bile Ducts, has raised $20,000. This is in addition to the astounding amount raised by Rare but Real—my friend and fellow fighter Bita’s team—which already has more than $80,000 slated just for cholangiocarcinoma research. Our collective goal for 2017 is to raise more than $1 million with all of it going directly to cholangiocarcinoma research led by Memorial Sloan Kettering’s Dr. Ghassan Abou-Alfa and other top experts in this niche field.
Although I am incredibly grateful for and humbled by each contribution my friends, family and complete strangers have made for this life-saving effort, it saddens me to think if there was just something sexier and more vapid about this cancer, we would have cured it four times over by now. Grabbing the attention of the masses – and their money – seems to require following a pretty simple formula. How can we harness that formula for something as horrifying as a rare, incurable cancer that seems more and more hell-bent on striking down people in the primes of their lives? This is a question I will no doubt spend much time mulling over in 2017, with the help of my fellow “cholangi crew” members and the doctors determined to help us.
In the meantime, Santa, if you’re listening, could you go ahead and get the elves to work on that sex tape? Bonus if they make cameo appearances (from what I understand of pop culture). And anyone out there who might be in the giving mood this holiday season but has not yet supported Bike for the Bile Ducts or my friend Bita’s Rare but Real team, please consider giving the gift of hope by following this link https://goo.gl/npNKm2 and clicking “Donate.”
Peace and love to you and yours this holiday season, and, oh yeah, f*%k cancer.