Thursday, February 21, 2013 at 9:55AM
By now, hopefully you guys have seen our video (available here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_rJsNC4xQW4) and have checked out our website (it’s here: www.thewunderproject.org) , but something that may not be totally clear to you is how The Wunder Project is different from other cancer-related intiatives or organizations you might have encountered. Why are we special? Why are we different? Before I answer fully, let me give you the quick answer for those of you who like immediate gratification: we are special, and we are different. And as I explain why, please know that I am not talking smack about any other organization or initiative. I love what other groups are doing and I have supported many, many cancer organizations with my money and advocacy. So it’s not about that. But when you live in the cancer world (as a patient and the President of a cancer non-profit) like I do, seeing how The Wunder Project is different from other initiatives is a friggin’ no-brainer. But when you don’t live in the cancer world, it may not be that clear. So I’m going to clear things up. First of all: our fundraising model. We are giving every penny donated to The Wunder Project to research. We have been blessed to have angel investors who threw in funding before we launched The Wunder Project, and their donations have covered our overhead expenses for the year. To be able to say that 100% of donations go to the cause is extremely rare indeed. Next: our cause. While we love advocacy and awareness and education, the sole focus of The Wunder Project – our cause -- is research. Cutting-edge research conducted by some of the most brilliant minds in this country and abroad. Molecular analyses, clinical trials, drug development. Hardcore research designed to get us to the cure. Our cause could not be any clearer. We hope you know that March is Colon Cancer Awareness month and we hope you know to get a colonoscopy if you have changes in your bowel movements or bloating or blood in your stool and we hope you know that the color for colon cancer awareness is blue. But our money isn’t going to helping you understand those things. Our money is going to research. So what kind of research? Not just any old “cancer research”: targeted research, with actual discernable steps and platforms, with an actual timeline, that will result in many, many breakthroughs. And drugs. And drugs that cure. Do you understand what I’m talking about here? THE CURE. The cure that I need to live a long life. I’m not messing around here. I want to live. You know this about me. I WANT TO LIVE. So I’m not hitching my wagon to some run of the mill “cancer research” here. I’m fighting for my life and betting my LIFE on this research. And it is legit, solid, comprehensive, and built to succeed. Our team of doctors stand behind it and our team of docs on our Medical Advisory Board stand behind it. And, like I said, I’m betting my life on it. And I’m very smart, guys. You know I’m not betting my life on some run of the mill research over here. If this wasn’t revolutionary and cutting edge stuff, why would I even spin my wheels? Why not just chill out and get my chemo and go on some ridiculously awesome vacations like I like to do? So yeah, this research is for real. If you don’t believe me and Dr. Lenz and our team and our Medical Advisory Board, then don’t believe in us. But you should. But we’re such a young organization! I haven’t spent 20 years in the non-profit world. How do I even know how things work? Well, I may not be a veteran of the non-profit world, but I am a Duke-educated and Stanford Law School-educated kid. I am a corporate attorney at O’Melveny & Myers, one of the biggest and most well-respected law firms in the world. I don’t mention my resume to toot my own horn, but to explain to you that I’m a pretty savvy woman and, more than anything, I know how to get stuff done. I know how to get results. That’s what guided me through my time at Duke and Stanford and that’s what made me successful at O’Melveny. I get the job done. And that kind of ability translates just fine into the non-profit world. So yeah, we’re young. I’m young. But we’re smart, connected, determined, and passionate. Also, we’re lean. I don’t take a salary and I don’t have salaried employees. We don’t have an office – we work out of my house in the Hollywood Hills, y’all. We don’t have some crazy hoops to jump through to approve our next move – we have a Board of Directors of committed and efficient individuals who know that we don’t have weeks or months to mull over things. We decide THAT DAY. We move on things THAT DAY. We don’t have time to mess around, so we don’t. We make solid decisions but we do it quickly. There is no bureaucracy within The Wunder Project or within The WunderGlo Foundation. Finally: the passion behind all of this. It’s probably not difficult to understand that this is my own life on the line. We get it – Gloria doesn’t want to die. But it’s more than that, friends. I’m a patient who has other patient friends. I fight right alongside them. I see them struggle. I see them overcome. I know when they are getting cut open on the operating table or getting chemo. These aren’t just patients, and they aren’t just friends, either. They are my brothers and sisters in the struggle. We are so bonded by our shared disease and the challenges it forces us to face. And the thing is, I don’t just care about these people or wish them well or pray for them. I love them. I love my brothers and sisters in the struggle. And I’m sick of them struggling. Do you know how much it kills me that my best bud Annette isn’t here to run The Wunder Project with me? It kills me, friends. I write her initials on my wrist every single day, and I think of her every single day, and she’s not with me working on this thing because colon cancer took her life. So you know what, colon cancer? I’m going to take yours. Because I’m so fed up with this disease wreaking its havoc on so many people. It’s over now. I’m going to see to it and I promise you that I won’t stop until we have the cure. For me, for my friends, and in memory and in honor of my sweet Annette and others who have been ripped from us way, way too soon. All the money goes to the cause. The cause is research. The research is cutting-edge and game-changing. The Wunder Project is young, lean, efficient, and smart as all hell. And we have the fire of passion, of love, of loss, and of the simple desire and gratitude for life itself guiding us. All of those things, taken together, make us different.