Thanking the mic

Dear those who entertain,

Scratch that.

Dear light engineers,

 That should be your real name. You are engineers of light. Creators.

You make life a bit lighter and I’m speaking to all of you. Artists, singers, actors, clowns, comedians, the whole lot. Basically the ones with the mic and the stage. You know you. 

Turn up your mic. I’m talking to you.

I want to acknowledge you and your ideas, but I think Enimem put it best:

“’Cause I’m just a man, but as long as I got a mic, I’m godlike.”

Yes you are godlike as you create beauty for others to enjoy. You let us join the ride too. You share.

And for me it’s more personal. 

I have you to thank for saving my son. Without you, I’m not sure where any of us parents would be.

Children’s cancer was a hidden disease.

Children were hidden from the public eye for decades. 

No one wants to see dying children. For years children cancer wards were always in basements. Too depressing. Skeletal crew. And it was so rare that it produced no fanfare. 

The kids just quietly died, along with their stories. Too young to call out. Parents to broken to pull together a sentence. Their lives never recognized. Often parents just taking home a bag of their few belongings, a doll, a ball, etc.

You know more than anyone that to gain traction in the public eye, you have be seen. You need to be out there, on the road!

And there you came. YOU DID. You hit the road, swinging past Boston.

During this time, you called yourselves the Variety Club. You were founded in 1927 by producers, directors, actors, entertainers, etc.  You formed a club. I love it. You united your voices, all your mics were turned to level 11. 

And you used your influence to save. 

While in Boston you visited the Boston’s Children’s hospital. When asking the chief of the hospital what resources they needed, he responded, “Well, I need a new microscope.” 

But like the light bringers you are, you are drawn to darkness. 

It makes sense. You must feel pretty strong in a dark room, being able to fill every corner with your power. You were a candel.

And that is what you did that day. You met Sidney Farber (as in the father of chemotherapy) and you saw them. You saw the children. You went there and you saw them and you said- THIS HAS TO CHANGE. This makes no sense.

And because of you, so many adults and children survive. We even call them survivors. I’ve met many of them and THANK YOU. They include my closest of friends and my husband. 

We still have a long way to go, but because of YOU. You built a hospital for children. One with light! 

You raised $231,000 and this is 1948! People all over the country and even soldiers across seas mailed in dollars and cents, because this is what we do…we are the UNITED states of America. We support each other and we all weep over the senseless death of a child.

Thank you. Truly thank you. 

Because lots of people thought at that time (many in the medical community) that you were throwing away good money. That these children couldn’t be saved,  that Farber was not making progress, but you helped. You turned on the mic and you even put on a show! All covered on radio. 

So I’m taking my cues from history. 

I understand the power of you. I’m calling on you.

I need your help, because the work isn’t done. Still children die and the treatment is inhumane. Just to give you some perspective the drug my child is getting to save his life was invented in 1958. 

While there have been advancements, not NEARLY what you would expect. 

This was a computer in 1958

a computer today.

So thank you for all you’ve done, but let’s do more. Cancer has 100% touched your life. There is no one who hasn’t been touched by cancer. Let’s do this. One out of two men and one out of three women will be diagnosed with cancer.

So I will be calling upon some of you. 

Just a heads up. 

I got some big plans and I need you (again).


Abby Brody

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