“You’d Raise A Lot More Money If You Ran For Heart Stuff,” and Other Things I Often Heard This Year

February 1, 2013

My "Yeah, I've heard it" face.
My “Yeah, I’ve heard it” face.

Fundraising week continues. Check back Wednesday if you’re skipping all fundraising talk.

Running for equality was much harder than I expected it would be. (Post on that tomorrow.) Today, let’s talk about some things I heard a lot this year (which drove me a little batty).

1) “Equality is not as important as a disease or some ‘life-or-death’ issue.” To me, equality is right up there with life or death issues. I had a very serious medical issue. I could’ve easily died, and almost certainly would’ve, had it not been caught.

I can tell you from first hand experience that living is not about physically living. It’s not about figuring out a way to make a heart beat longer. It’s about your quality of life – the kind of life you live.

Of course, this is an opinion. People could argue that they think prolonging life is more important than quality of life.

I don’t believe it is. I’ve had long enough hospital stays – with various things going in and coming out of my body, while I’m basically trapped in a room feeling utterly exhausted – to really understand how wildly important quality of life is.

To me, the issue of equality affects our quality of life. It affects the kind of world we live in, and the way people treat each other. I think it’s wildly important – certainly just as important (if not more so) than my little heart issue… Which brings me to another thing I heard a lot.

2) “You’d raise a lot more money if you ran for heart stuff.” Yep. Got it. Understood. I heard it a million times this year. And everyone who said it is 100% correct. But I told myself at the beginning of this that I’d rather raise $4 for something I really believed in than $4 million for something I didn’t care as much about.

I meant it then. I still mean it now. But it doesn’t make it any easier to reconcile that difference between saying it, and seeing it happen in front of my eyes.

I had a super rare heart defect. I don’t even know of any charities raising awareness for Wolff-Parkinson-White. That’s probably because they’d only save a handful of people each year. Obviously, even a handful of people deserve saving. But, are tons of resources best spent on that?

Plus, you don’t even need to raise a lot of money to save people from that disease. The cures are already out there. Just go get an EKG. You’ll know if you have it. And if you have it, you’ll almost certainly live if you get it treated. Done and done.

Of course, that could mean me trying to effect change to our healthcare system… There are other fights to fight. Equality isn’t the only one. But I don’t think it’s necessary that just because I had a heart problem I become the heart problem girl, who’s all heart problem all the time (even if we have covered that heart problem in-depth on my blog).

3) “I believe in you, but I don’t believe in that.” All right. I’m not going to attack people for not believing in what I believe. I hardcore disagree with them, but I’ll respect them as they respectfully decline the invitation to donate to my fundraising page. It doesn’t make it easier to hear over and over. But we’ve all been civil to each other. I suppose at least that’s something.

There were more things people said all year, but I think I’ve hit all the ones I want to talk about.

It’s frustrating to hear reasons why I’m failing, on loop, for months and months. I’m happy people are being honest with me, but that doesn’t make any of it easier to hear.

Tomorrow, I’ll elaborate on my challenges with fundraising (and specifically fundraising for equality).

I'd love to hear from you! So whaddya say?