Thursday, March 29, 2007

Welcome to my Blog!

Dear Friends:

Welcome to my new Blog! I hope you can take a few minutes to check out my blog, every so often, and feel free to send your comments and thoughts. This blog will be my venue for sharing with you not only all that is going on here at Camp Good Days, but some of the issues and challenges we face as an organization serving those with cancer and other life threatening challenges.

When Camp Good Days cut the ribbon on our own beautiful Recreational Facility, the publisher of The Buffalo News, Murray Light, asked me what I wanted to do next…I replied that I wanted to close the camp, as I truly believed that at some point during my lifetime we would find a means of preventing cancer, so that no other parents would have to go against the laws of nature by having to bury their children, as I did with my daughter, Teddi.

In 1979, when Teddi, was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor, cancer was the leading killer of children, following accidents. Twenty-eight years later, cancer remains one of the leading killers of children, following accidents. The advances that have come about can be credited to earlier diagnosis and more effective means of treatment.

It is time that this country woke up and took a long, hard look at the way money is being spent, under the umbrella of cancer research. We need, as Dr. Sidney Farber wanted many years ago, a highly coordinated, concentrated effort…not one that is parochial and sporadic.

After looking at the latest statistics, WE ARE NOT WINNING THE WAR ON CANCER, despite the fact that we are spending billions of dollars each year! It is projected that this year, over 560,000 of our friends and family members will die of cancer! Over the next 14 months, more Americans will die from cancer than have perished in every war this nation fought in during the 20th century. Deaths from cancer in this country can be described as if one of the twin towers were to collapse every single day.

Cancer is the number one killer of those under age 75. Among those 45-64, cancer is responsible for more deaths than the next three causes (heart disease, accidents, and stroke) combined.

As we all begin to think about the upcoming Presidential Election and begin to hear from many of the candidates vying for their party’s nomination, as well as those seeking positions for local, state, and other federal offices, we all need to let our representatives and the candidates know that in the coming years, we want them to be committed to doing what President Nixon had hoped to do some 30 years ago and declare an all out war on this disease, so that all of the Teddis of the future will be able to live their lives and go on to become wives, mothers, and viable members of society.

We have all waited long enough and if you would like to get involved in bringing the war on cancer to the forefront, let us know!

In other news…right now, all of us at Camp Good Days and Special Times are in full gear preparing and planning for all of the summer residential and day camping programs for 2007 as well as many of our special fundraising events. All of the programs we provide, here at Camp Good Days, for so many special children, adults, and families whose lives have been touched by cancer and other life challenges are offered free of charge for the participants. We are only able to continue this because of the generosity of so many individuals, organizations, and businesses, and the success of our special fundraising events. Check out our website for more information about all the programs, services, activities and events going on, as well as the many volunteer opportunities available and I hope that you will be able to join us this summer!

Gary Mervis
Chairman & Founder