As a grad student in biomedical engineering I'm privy to a lot of cool new research ideas that people are working on the improve the lives of people suffering from cancer. Some of my fellow students have developed amazing technologies that help target cancer cells, cut off their blood supply and release localized drugs to kill the cancer. These technologies have the potential to ease the suffering of millions of people and in time maybe even cure future sufferers. I get to see first hand the results of cancer research funding and I'm amazed by the progress we have made, it is a great thing that must continue.
My country of Canada has a national hero called Terry Fox. Terry was diagnosed with terminal cancer but this did not dampen his spirits. This man ran across one of the largest countries in the world while dying of cancer to bring awareness and raise money to help fight the disease. Now every year millions of us run to celebrate the man and continue his mission.
This year I will be running 4.22km in order to do just that. It is only a small distance compared to what most runners are capable of but for me the feat is the galvanization of our community rather than the physical distance.
When Terry ran he had the goal of raising $1 for every Canadian. If I could get just one dollar of each user in the Giantbomb community it would be a massive help. For this purpose I set up a donation page on gofundme.com because donating is secure and simple, requiring minimal information. All of the money I collect will be donated to the Terry Fox Foundation, I will take a screenshot of the final donation transaction when I donate.
If you are feeling generous and would like to do a good deed, I would greatly appreciate your support.
I think people are missing the point of this movement by saying that capturing Kony will not solve all of Africa's goals. That is not the goal of this movement and it never has been. I think the ultimate positive outcome of this campaign, if it's successful, is that it will show that we as a majority can truly affect the foreign policy of our governments. How many British citizens felt that they had any influence over whether their nation invaded Iraq or not? Canada thankfully did not participate, but I don't doubt for one second that if Chretien made the decision to join the US that there would be nothing I could do about it. If we can show that we have the say in what our governments act on then it shows the true power of social media and demonstrates a game changing moment in our political system.
It's already happened in the Middle East with the Arab Spring, it already happened here in voting down SOPA. Let's continue this trend and take back the power from the corrupt officials leading our governments. That's the take home message, the punishment of Kony is icing on the cake.
And who are we to say that freeing the children captive under Kony and ending his reign of tyranny is not a noble goal? Yes the governments are fucked up and it will take far more effort to create lasting change, but we have to start somewhere. Kony is not the source of Africa's problems but he's certainly contributing to them.
The worst thing we can do, in my opinion, is just shrug this off as just another dead end political movement jockeying for the spotlight. That will only allow these problems to continue and the situation in Africa to get worse and worse until the problem is once again forced upon us just as it was in 2001. I leave with a quote from J.K. Rowling:
"Those who choose not to empathize enable real monsters, for without ever committing an act of outright evil ourselves we collude with it through our apathy."
This is my first blog so I'd like, if in the future I continue to post, to start leave you with my current musical interests. So here's the bands I'm currently listening to:
We all know game soundtracks are amazing so right now I'm listening to the Peace tracks from Civ 5 while I work since they're all instumental and don't distract while I'm thinking. You can find them in your steam folder (if you have Civ 5, of course):