I want to sincerely apologize for the pain my post, which I have now removed, has caused. Like many other committed staff members and volunteers at the American Cancer Society, I have lost loved ones to cancer, and I work here because I want to help end the suffering caused by the disease. But losing a child to cancer (or for any other reason) is unimaginable to me. The idea of having one of my children diagnosed with cancer is a pain I cannot comprehend. I am sorry for making anybody feel marginalized. It was not what I intended. It is not how I feel.
When I set out to write I wanted to raise questions about activism and social media around disease. I did not mean to imply that I or the American Cancer Society believe that sick children are not important. Indeed I wrote that each of these cases is tragic, and that the children and their families deserve both sympathy and support. That is what I believe.
I am committed to repairing the relationship between the advocates I have upset and the American Cancer Society. The idea that my words would cause people to lose faith in the good work of the Society is horrifying to me. The Society succeeds because of our more than three million volunteers, and because of millions of others who generously support our work. In my more than four years working at ACS I have seen one example after another of this organization’s incredible mission being carried out, and each time, I am inspired. I have also seen success that extends to all of us, as cancer incidence and death rates continue to drop. I hope I have not jeopardized the good will that makes this progress possible.