It’s been kind of a slow day today in cyberspace, and right now I’ve got the energy level and morale to match. It’s discouraging sometimes. Also, being 22, I feel like I owe it to myself to enjoy Saturday nights out with friends. But, to be honest, I find it difficult and intimidating to go out on weekend nights to places where people over 21 usually go! I often blame it on the fact that I didn’t have a solid group of friends growing up; just a friend here and there. So, I never really grew accustomed to relying on myself to go out independently with friends. But then, I get depressed when I don’t do anything. Ironic, I know, because I happen to live in a nice area with lots of restaurants, bars, clubs and cafés.
But, enough with the pity-party! I E-mailed the ladies of “The View,” because my personal experience has been that women are generally very proactive. And, these gals don’t beat around the bush! I really would have liked to find a direct E-mail address for Whoopi Goldberg. I’m going to have to start snail-mailing some celebs, because many don’t publish an E-mail address. A real firecracker, she is one of the very few people to have been awarded a Tony, an Emmy, a Grammy, and an Oscar. As a humanitarian, Whoopi has lobbied for a wide variety of causes, including substance abuse, the homeless, and AIDS, and is a Goodwill ambassador to the United Nations. Collectively, the women of “The View” (Goldberg, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, Joy Behar, Barbara Walters, and Sherri Shepherd) have cooperated with such organizations as the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, and in 2001 were awarded the the Safe Horizon Champion Award for shedding light on issues important to girls and women.
In short, they do much more than simply dish on the latest news and celeb gossip– they give back.
To change the subject, after doing some online digging, I came across a document that some of you may find interesting. It is a breakdown of how the Spina Bifida Foundation plans to allocate money in the fiscal year 2010. I am including the PDF for those of you interested. It should make for some great bedtime reading.
That being said, as I read this (okay, skimmed this), I grew alarmed at the amount of dollars going towards prevention instead of towards programs that will assist those already living with spina bifida. I also got to thinking today about just how much money could be saved for taxpayers if more research led to better treatment for conditions as bladder and bowel control. This would save the government lots of dollars that now help fund the incontinence products (i.e., urinary catheters, disposable undies) that people with spina bifida get through Medicaid or Medicare. That means you wouldn’t have to foot the bill.
So, it may just be a layperson’s speculation, but I firmly believe that raising funds for spina bifida research now, will save us all a lot of money later. But here are the disturbing figures that show just how much will be allocated toward prevention, not quality-of-life:
- $4.818 million for the CDC’s national folic acid education and promotion efforts to support the prevention of Spina Bifida and other neural tube defects
- $25.623 million to strengthen the CDC’s National Birth Defects Prevention Network
- $77.059 million for the CDC’s National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities
- The total societal cost of Spina Bifida is estimated to exceed $750 million per year
This very same document goes on to explain the costs often associated with spina bifida. An individual with a typical case of spina bifida can end up spending $1,00o,000 in his/her lifetime on special education, therapy services, and loss of earnings. As stated in this document, which was distributed for the House Labor – Health and Human Services – Education Appropriations Subcommittee in Congress, at the time of the First World Congress on Spina Bifida Research and Care in March, an estimated 185,000 people were living with spina bifida in the U.S. Of course, I have nothing at all against prevention. I am happy that modern medicine has evolved as such to decrease the incidence of neural tube defects. But, I’m advocating for the 185,00-plus people (in this country alone!) for whom prevention is a moot point. I don’t want us to be forgotten.
But, that’s enough facts and figures for tonight. Here’s the entire document if you care to read it:
Well, I guess that’s it for tonight. I’m sorry, but, to be frank, I have to pee. (Yes, I use a catheter.)
A quick but heartfelt thank-you to my friend in New York, Matt Mireles, marketing buff and freelance reporter for The New York Times, among many other qualifications, for his very direct, cut-and-dry, no-bull advice to me! In order to reach people, one must also use the head, not just the heart. You convinced me of that!
Blessings to all,