In the US, most families celebrate Thanksgiving with lots of food, drinks, friends and family. For many oral cancer patients/survivors and caregivers this holiday is yet another reminder of the person we used to be. Of course all survivors are extremely grateful for being alive to celebrate all that life has to offer. But, we also mourn the loss of far too many good people who were taken from us due to oral cancer and its harsh after effect complications.
Over the years, Thanksgiving has changed to become not just one day but several days of celebrating. Black Friday has several varying stories as to why and when it began 50+ years ago. Today its meaning for many Americans is a tradition to shop til you drop often starting at 4 or 5am. In 2005 marketing companies created Cyber Monday as a way to promote online holiday shopping. Then came Small Business Saturday (SBS) which began in 2010. SBS encourages consumers to avoid the big box stores and to buy from small local businesses. In 2012 #Giving Tuesday was started as a way to promote philanthropy, giving back and community service bringing people together for a common good.
Behind this online patient support forum is a very small nonprofit that has a worldwide reach in many, many ways. Our message board gets thousands of hits every day from nonmembers. These people from all over the world are seeking up to date, reliable information relating to oral cancer. There's even more going on behind the scenes! OCF has been able to directly take part in the fight for issues as diverse as Kennedy's landmark tobacco regulation bill to a vaccine to protect boys as well as girls from HPV
. Years ago when OCF began, our founder Brian Hill came across a young doctor who was starting to work on breakthru research about HPV
. Back then HPV
was unheard of. Much of what is known today about HPV
, including its many strains, isolating the cancer causing strains 16 and 18 from 200+ others, vaccinations to protect patients from the bad strains which can cause not only oral cancer but cervical cancer, penile cancer, anal cancer, and genital warts was discovered by Dr Maura Gillison. OCF's name even appears at the bottom of many peer reviewed published research papers on not just HPV
but also on immune checkpoint inhibitors and the latest breakthrus in treatments.
Also behind the scenes is Ingrid Hill, Brian's wife. She has worked side by side with Brian for 18 years to create OCF. Ingrid has played a major role in making OCF what it is today. As Brian has traveled all over the country giving hundreds of lectures on oral cancer and with his former company dental appliances, Ingrid has been working in the background to ensure OCF is in compliance with all the rules and regulations concerning taxes and nonprofit organizations. Ingrid is proud to explain how many nonprofit organizations arent run like OCF who keeps its administrative and fundraising costs below 15%. This earns OCF a 5 out of 5 stars rating from Guidestar.org which is an oversight organization of nonprofits. OCF gets top reviews from those OCF serves at Greatnonprofits.org. earning us top awards every year.
Ive had the pleasure of meeting both Brian and his charming wife Ingrid. It was a true honor to be able to meet such dedicated, hard-working, intelligent, caring people. They both have a heart of gold and have worked long hours nearly every single day for 18 years to make certain OCF is a success. As you see, OCF is not just any charity. OCF does great things with their donations and is working hard to find an
I'll end this post with a quote from Brian... "We will bring this disease down, through mechanisms well defined by the science professionals that guide OCF. Please help us again on Giving Tuesday. We cannot do this without you."
Please consider making a donation
to OCF (if you are able to) for Giving Tuesday.
Director of Patient Support Services and
Volunteer Senior Patient Advocate
The Oral Cancer Foundation OCF's Giving Tuesday