Tuesday, January 17, 2012

cancer Barbie

I've been stuck. Since my Mother passed away, my mind has been taking twists and turns of which I've never seen. Finding my voice and inspiration has been lacking.

So this made me take to the keys––cancer Barbie. Now you can read an article here http://huff.to/AbYzax that tells the story of Mattel saying "they don't take suggestions from customers" for products. It's hidden in there, if not, then I'm an idiot. But my point is this: Really?

Since this story hit, Mattel has been doing some re-thinking on this subject, as the Social Media world had taken on this challenge. (Use this link for the Facebook page http://on.fb.me/zQsiX0). And I've been stewing on it. Why? As a cancer survivor, a cancer patient, a parent for crying out loud I can see no harm in creating a doll that looks like a child who has lost their hair to their treatments. People want to see people JUST LIKE THEM. It's a fact. I also experienced this firsthand: a child who was going through radiation treatment the same time I was.

I remember sitting in the waiting room, getting myself ready for another radiation treatment. It was early on, so I hadn't hit the "radiation wall"; that's when your body has fully absorbed the radiation (and I was in chemotherapy at the same time) and it starts to kick your ass. And I kept seeing this little boy, being wheeled in with his parents and thinking "how can I help this kid?" I smiled at him and his parents. Asked him and his parents how was his day. Tell him it's my turn" and give him a thumbs up. I didn't do this out in the open––in fact, I'm not even sure my Wife, Teresa knows––because he was "embarrassed to have lost his hair. And you know how kids can be" was the longest response/conversation I had with his parents.

I also grow my hair to 10+ inches so I can donate it to Locks of Love http://locksoflove.org. And while that's a long term commitment, it still doesn't seem like it's enough. So I'm spreading the word to "help" Mattel make the right decision. It's just a doll, right?