Why I Don’t Financially Support Medical Charities

I can tell before I even start typing that I’m not going to make any friends with this post and worse yet, I might lose some. I must be honest though and tell you that I don’t give a penny to help out breast cancer, multiple sclerosis, autism, heart disease, AIDS or any other charitable entity — and I never will.

Why is Tom Baker such a jerk? Come a little closer and I’ll tell you why.

First, let me start off by saying that the people on the front lines; the organizers, the money collectors, the individuals who have lost loved ones to these terrible and heart wrenching diseases, the runners, the cyclists, and the walkers. I believe wholeheartedly that they are sincere in what they are doing and their hearts are in the right place. I believe with no doubts whatsoever that they would like to find a cure. I believe they want to help someone beat whatever disease they are battling. I know that they are out there to help prevent someone from experiencing the same hurt and anguish that they and their family had to deal with.

These people, I believe are sincere in what they do.

What I don’t believe is that the pharmaceutical companies in the United States really want to help find a cure for ANYTHING! There is a much greater profit in doing business the way they have been doing it. You see, drugs that are on the market today don’t address the problem. Every drug on the market today (whether over the counter or prescription) only help to ease symptoms. They do nothing for the root cause of the problem. From headaches to fever and diabetes to high blood pressure, all the drugs do is help ease symptoms. It is much better for the drug company’s bottom line and the stock holders quarterly earnings to keep the sick patient feeling better and keeping them alive for as long as possible, than it is to cure them of that illness once and for all.

You cannot convince me at all that pharmaceutical companies are even looking for a cure. If by chance they are looking for a cure, it would be to put it under lock and key in the hopes that no one else ever discovers it.

I could go on and on about why I distrust the FDA and the pharmaceutical companies in America, but I’m not trying to alienate all my readers. I realize the different pathologies and diseases are tearing families apart every day. I’m not trying to make light of a horrible situation. I am trying to show why you might want to direct your finances in a more positive direction.

The direction I am speaking of is eating healthy to avoid some most of the ills of the world. You might not know it or you might not believe it but you are the major force behind your health and longevity. Not your doctor and not heredity. You are the master of your health fate. No matter what age you are you can start RIGHT NOW to begin eating better.

“While we are certainly born with genes that help determine everything from our height to our risk of heart disease, we are making a monumental mistake by assuming that we can’t control our genes–especially when it comes to aging.”
~ Doctors Michael Roizen and Mehmet Oz.

Cut out red meat or cut down significantly. Eat more fish and vegetables. Eat less salty, fried and sugary foods. Read the labels, go online and research the best foods. Instead of giving $50.00 to Susan G. Komen, who will most likely use the money to sue any other charity with “For The Cure” in their name, buy organic. Organic fruits and vegetables are free of pesticides and artificial fertilizers. Live longer for your children and the grand children you might have one day.

Quit smoking! Drink less alcohol. Wipe the dust off and hop on your bike and ride around the block or two. Walk down to Blockbuster and watch a documentary on food that will make you look at fast food and want to throw up! Try Food, Inc., Forks Over Knives, or King Corn. You can even rest on your lazy butt and watch The Future of Food for free on Hulu.

     

The people who are on the front lines and genuinely want cures found for these diseases, I applaud you But when all is said and done and these charities fork over the millions to drug companies, rest assured, they are not looking for a cure. They simply want to prolong the life of those affected by masking the symptoms. Demand better. Find foreign researchers, especially in Europe who care more about people than they do money.

Food Facts*

Most cancer is preventable, with about three cases in four directly related to lifestyle choices;

Controllable factors of greatest impact appear to be smoking, diets rich in animal foods and low in vegetables and fruits, inactivity, obesity, and exposure to hazardous materials;

Experts estimate that improving diet and exercise alone could prevent 30-40% of all cancers;

Just eating more vegetables and fruits could eliminate 20% of cancers. Avoiding tobacco could bring this figure up to 60-70%.

Although I do not financially support charities, I do support organizations that help spread awareness of different diseases and those who try to educate individuals on preventing and reversing the effects of illnesses. And that is all I care to say on this matter.

* Food facts courtesy of Becoming Vegan by Brenda Davis and Vesanto Melina

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  1. #1 by happyhippierose on April 13, 2012 - 9:29 PM

    cool post, i totally get where you’re coming from and i agree with a lot of what you’ve said here. i’m picky about what orgs i’ll donate to, there are some that i refuse to give one red cent. it’s important to know about where your money is going.

    i don’t give to “breast cancer awareness” anymore. it’s so bunk. all the “pink” items that hardly kick back anything to susan g. komen. not to mention how crappy komen is anyways.

    american heart association is another one. my former roommate worked for them and i got to see firsthand how willing they are to waste money. it was absurd. she was paid for her time and reimbursed for gas money, and ALL the time her boss would send her home to change for not having a cute enough outfit. it blew my mind that good people’s donations were going to pay my roomie to drive around and dawdle time away because her outfit wasn’t up to snuff. the time wasting and superficiality was never ending.

    this is an AWESOME resource: http://www.charitynavigator.org/

    when i had cancer, my college friends did a series of fundraisers for me and opened up an account. they helped to pay for my treatments. being sick in america is financially devastating. i changed the entire economic security of my family; i’ve been in remission for 7+ years and my family still hasn’t recovered from my cancer. so, when i see local drives to raise money for one person or one family, i remember how blessed i was to have help and i try to give what i can, when i can.

    and finally, on the topic of cancer cures being stifled – have you ever heard of the gerson method? or gerson therapy? i know netflix has a few documentaries about it. it’s incredible. this man, gerson, essentially discovered a “cure” and his work has been squashed down and ignored, hidden from the public, because big pharma can’t stand the idea of people being healthy.

  2. #2 by Ashley on December 4, 2011 - 1:36 PM

    Thank you for your concern with my situation, and you know what? I couldn’t agree more. I have never seen the movie but I’ll head to the library tomorrow after work (closed on Sundays) and see if they have it in stock. Food, inc. though, yes I’ve seen that. I think there’s been a cure; maybe people are worried about overpopulation, or are just holding out to make some big statement for one person they want in power, or maybe something completely different. “You cannot convince me at all that pharmaceutical companies are even looking for a cure. If by chance they are looking for a cure, it would be to put it under lock and key in the hopes that no one else ever discovers it.” Absolutely, yes yes yes. I have such a hard time with drug companies as well. For crying out loud, I’ve seen friends fall victim (which in this case means ADDICTED) to OTC and prescription drugs. Hell, I was one of them when I had an unknown skin disorder and it took me months to get off a drug I only took for one. I have found other *ahem* alternatives that are natural, not OTC, and work better for a lot of things that some 36-letter prescription couldn’t hold a candle to. Thank you for this post. It’s nice to hear someone else agrees with me. (P.S. I didn’t mention this much in my post because that wasn’t the point I was trying to get across in that piece. But now you got me all fired up! Haha, thank you!)

    • #3 by Tom Baker on December 4, 2011 - 1:53 PM

      Food Inc was great too. If you are headed to the library perhaps you can check on Dr. Joel Fuhrman books and DVDs. The tobacco, banking, food, pharmaceutical, FDA, they all SUCK. Okay, this isn’t about me, it’s about you. Don’t get me started either. Again Ashley, welcome to my blog and I am very glad you are healthy.

  3. #4 by Jia on October 25, 2011 - 10:46 PM

    hi Tom, thanks for your insights :)

    • #5 by Tom Baker on October 28, 2011 - 7:15 AM

      Thank you for stopping by. How do you feel about what I wrote? What is it like where you are?

  4. #6 by savesprinkles1234 on October 17, 2011 - 10:27 AM

    I usually don’t donate to big name, medical charities, but for a different reason. I usually feel that 99% of my donation is going towards the salary of the charity’s CEO. I feel like my money is better spent donating directly to people in my own community. We always donate to our local volunteer fire dept, to the food bank and directly to people who have experienced personal tragedy (fire, death of a spouse etc.) This way, I know 100% of my money is going to help others and not make a CEO somewhere even richer.

    • #7 by Tom Baker on October 17, 2011 - 8:57 PM

      That makes a lot of sense. making sure the money goes where you expect it to go is very important.

  5. #8 by GravureLover on October 16, 2011 - 5:05 PM

    Good post Tom. I don’t donate to charities because I don’t have any money but I think what you said makes loads of sense..

    • #9 by Tom Baker on October 17, 2011 - 8:53 PM

      Most folks are in your shoes GL.

  6. #10 by Juan202020 on October 16, 2011 - 2:07 PM

    It’s all big business. I don’t trust big business at all and charities are just big business too. Not all of them but the big ones are..

    • #11 by Tom Baker on October 17, 2011 - 8:53 PM

      I’m not a fan either. From tobacco to banking to food and charities. They all suck.

  7. #12 by janieblim on October 16, 2011 - 11:36 AM

    I’m not yet financially capable of donating to charities but I will take your advice. I rather hoped to put my money into charitable institutions that seek to educate children or even adults that, for a number of unfortunate reasons, don’t or didn’t get a chance to go to school. This way, these people can also be made aware how to better take care of their health.
    At school, I once watched a documentary called “Super size me”. It’s about one guy trying to show the effects of eating fast food everyday (Mcdonald’s). Of course, by the end of the video he gained weight, got easily tired, and experienced difficulty in breathing. I stopped eating fast food for a while but continued again after some time. Like what you said, we should cut back on red meat and limit eating sweets, chocolate truffles in particular. That’s difficult but it will help me avoid trips to the hospital. One of the benefits in living here in Beijing though is that I have to take long walks to get to places or ride the bicycle.
    This post is very informative. Thanks!

    • #13 by Tom Baker on October 16, 2011 - 1:21 PM

      I believe in charities but at least 85% of the money collected has to go toward their mission or I just won’t give, no matter how worthy the cause. Eating right is very important. The American diet is death on a plate.

      I saw Super Size Me too. Great movie I must say. That movie might have been the catalyst for my love of food documentaries now.

  8. #14 by Cherlyn on October 16, 2011 - 11:11 AM

    The only charities I ever donate to are local charities that are like local fireman, burn victim’s, or stuff like that. Once at school there was a large charity (I cant remember which at the moment though) taking collections, and I asked how much % would go towards the cause, they said 10%….That is unacceptable to me completely. As far as the medical charities, I definitely agree with you.

    One thing people dont know is that many of the drugs available to the public have synthetic cannabinoids, which is found naturally in marijuana. Pharmaceutical companies synthesize this compound because they can charge more money for their products. With this reason, as well as the reason that they are at first a business before anything else, I don’t trust them either. I get wary donating money towards any medical charities. The only time I’ve ever really done so was to support a coworker for a walk they were doing, and I felt guilty for not helping.

    • #15 by Tom Baker on October 16, 2011 - 1:18 PM

      Ten percent is laughable. I never heard of cannabinoids. Thanks for that information. I will look into it. I am really surprised that so many who have left comments agree with me. There have been a lot more visits to this page than there has been comments so perhaps those who disagree with me just did not bother to comment. I just sent you an email a little while ago.

  9. #16 by Rose Reynolds on October 16, 2011 - 10:08 AM

    As others have stated, I respect your views. I don’t think that all money goes to pharmaceutical companies for drug research. I think some might go to private research facilities too. Since we don’t know what goes where I guess education to help people not get sick in the first place would benefit a great many. I’m the person that was always looking for pink ribbons on my groceries so the money would go to the Komen Foundation but I think I might rethink my allocation of funds. Off to church. Have a blessed day.

    • #17 by Tom Baker on October 16, 2011 - 1:14 PM

      I don’t live for it but I like to be respected! Even if there is private facilities, I have to wonder who the real financial backers are and who has the ability to squash any breakthroughs that may come about. Hope you enjoy church.

  10. #18 by Judy Marie Santiago on October 15, 2011 - 10:08 PM

    Me too I do not financially support medical charities. First, because I have no budget, and second, because I know where my donations should go, if I have to give, that is. I work in the best child-welfare organization in the Philippines that supports sick and abused children. The abused kids were pulled out from their homes and live under our care at what we call “The Children’s Village.” There, they are undergoing healing and rehab so that they could be prepared to reintegrate with their other relatives if they are ready to go. Isn’t it nicer to help these actual kids than to support a promise of finding a cure that can’t seem to be found just yet? :) Thanks for this post Tom. :)

    • #19 by Tom Baker on October 16, 2011 - 7:46 AM

      The Children’s Village sounds like a wonderful place for your money to go to. I am so very happy to see your avatar and name back here. I miss your smiling face and your wonderful comments! Tell Kevin I said hello.

  11. #20 by Inside the Mind of Isadora on October 15, 2011 - 1:35 PM

    I must say that I have to agree with you. I may not be as radical as I believe some causes like those that have to do with children being clothed and fed have some merit. On the issue of healthcare, I can tell you first hand that doctors get extremely angry if you voice a different opinion on where they are going with their health plan for you. I had a cardiologist tell me that I need psychological therapy because I was refusing to take a medication he couldn’t give me specifics on why I needed to take it.

    Another doctor was angry and walked out of my hospital room because I refused to have a foreign screen inserted to prevent blood clots but couldn’t tell me why I was in danger if it wasn’t inserted and what side effects it would produce. From that day … I swore my health was my job. I did exactly what you have posted … walking, walking, walking, no meat, fresh veggies from my local farmers market ( no chemicals), fresh fruit as per season, and lots of fresh homemade juicing.

    To be healthy you have to do it yourself – the rest is up to God …!!!!
    Amen to your bravery…..
    Isadora

    • #21 by Tom Baker on October 16, 2011 - 7:44 AM

      I agree Isadora. I’m strictly talking about medical charities! Doctors spend less than a week in all their years of college on nutrition. Hippocrates said, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”. But again, it isn’t doctors that are the real problem in my post – it is Big Pharma.

      You are so right about taking your health into your own hands. It is nobody’s responsibility but yours. We as a nation need to wake up before one day every child is born with autism, every other child has diabetes and our DNA is being changed because of all the genetically modified food Monsanto is force feeding us. Juicing is great and I use the leftover pulp to make muffins with.

      Here’s to a long and healthy life.

  12. #22 by addielicious on October 15, 2011 - 12:58 AM

    I respect your views, Tom. This post gives a fair amount of light on me, as I myself don’t give a penny to medical charities but, for some reason, feels guilty for not doing so. How about charities like World Vision where you can sponsor a child’s education? Any thoughts?

    • #23 by Tom Baker on October 16, 2011 - 7:35 AM

      I haven’t checked out World Vision but before I do donate I always look to see what percentage of donations are actually used to help people and what percentage is administrative costs. Salaries for the heads of these ‘charities’ are sometimes millions of dollars a year. Starving children, education, homeless. I think are all worthy causes but what I would like to see is governments spending less money trying to get to Mars, or fighting wars, or all the other wasteful spending and truly help needy people. I once heard that all the food that Americans throw away would be enough to feed the hungry in all the world.

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