Posts Tagged ‘World Child Cancer Day’

PennyPushUps is now The RAE of Hope

Saturday, September 10th, 2016

PennyPushUps since 2013 has been my family’s awareness and fundraising campaign to spread information about Retinoblastoma, the childhood eye cancer that is responsible for my loss of both my eyes.

As the parent of a RB survivor it seemed right to try and do something to spread awareness.


The original idea was pretty straight forward; I’ll complete 100 push-ups a day and you sponsor me like a walk-a-thon just 1 cent per push-up… do the math!


The campaign turned into us sharing our story as well as others impacted by the cancer. Probably not a shock considering I enjoy telling people’s stories. The shock was I thought I could easily do this on video. Fortunately, I wasn’t 100 percent wrong. (Non visual video editing is possible… I do it!) Even more fortunately, my wife thought she could do a better job at the video production. She was right and she began to earn her keep and her name… Super Producer Marley Marl now formally known as Super Producer Marlett!


It became apparent that people weren’t really interested in my push-ups. One of the comments on the videos went something like; “Really interesting and important but why is there a guy doing push-ups.” LOL! I guess they didn’t listen to the introduction which summarized everything I just said about the campaign.


Logo for The RAE of Hope - a beam of light shining on to the earth from space

Focusing on raising awareness & empowering others while raising funds for World Eye Cancer Hope the name sort of wrote itself when we let the universe take over… The RAE of Hope, “Shining a light on a childhood eye cancer”.


We just finished airing our first full week of videos. We post them to our Facebook page “The RAE of Hope” and via YouTube.


I would love for you to come on over and “Like” our FB page or follow us on twitter @TheRAEofHope. The stories this year feature a bit more in the way of video production but the full story is told via audio. In fact, this year we incorporated closed captions available via YouTube, so we’re fully accessible – the way it should be!


Below is our playlist of all our videos so if this works properly you could pretty much bookmark this post and watch the latest video as we move through the month. We post new videos every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.


Tell a friend and help us spread the word about Childhood Cancer it can truly save a life and sight!


World Child Cancer Day

Monday, February 6th, 2012
A young girl smiles into the camera. Her illuminating white pupil resembling a "cat's eye" is a sign of eye cancer in childrens photos.

A white pupil reflecting in a child's photo is a sign of eye cancer.


February 15 is World Child Cancer Day.


I remember the first time realizing I was a child who survived cancer.


Since my early teens I have been accustomed to completing the section of the medical forms that ask for information on prior surgeries and existing conditions. As usual I described my history, indicating I had retinoblastoma (RB) – a cancer of the eye that affects children usually before the age of 4.


During a physical as an adult, a nurse commented that I survived cancer.


I remember she had to repeat it because I looked sort of stunned. “You obviously survived cancer!” she said implying I should be proud of this fact.


“Uh, yes I did.” I responded.


Although I knew Retinoblastoma was a cancer…, I never focused on the fact that I had what could have been for me a deadly disease. I didn’t consider myself a survivor; I was just a kid who had RB as a child.


I’m sure my parents feared for the worst, but even in 1968 my odds of survival were greater than those outside of the US; I was fortunate. Not necessarily lucky to be born with mutations on my RB1 gene, but rather for the early intervention, proper diagnosis and privilege of living in the city where one of the premier RB specialist practiced.


While there are children in the US and other “first World” countries who do not survive this disease, children in developing countries throughout Africa, Latin America and Asia have a significantly greater chance of being overtaken by the illness.


What helps?


Like most cancers, early detection and proper diagnosis is crucial to saving vision and lives.


From the Daisy’s Eye Cancer Fund (DECF):

The most common early sign of retinoblastoma is a white glow in the affected eye (leukocoria), seen in flash photographs. When the cancer fills the eye, this reflection may be visible to the naked eye in dim light.

Stay tuned for more information about DECF and some interesting things this organization is doing around the world.


In the meantime, check out the website and while you’re there please, read Rati’s


Information saves lives, share this!