A long time ago, I had the pleasure of working on some projects with Sid Brooks. Sid was a simple man. He spent decades of his life in service to others, first in the military, then in what many would call a “thankless” job. He was the equipment manager for the San Diego Chargers when I met him. Surrounded by people making millions of dollars a year, Sid quietly did his job, and treated everyone as if they were the most important person in the world. You might expect him to treat the football players that way, but he also treated the receptionist with the same respect. Every person he encountered, from a waitress to the owner of an NFL franchise, was given his full attention, and as a result, he was well loved throughout the NFL.
He came to mind this morning as I was trying to think of ways to enlist the help of folks who might be reading this. You see, Sid made everyone feel important, but all too often, we only take the time to thank the most obvious people in our lives. In the cancer world, the doctors and the nurses get most of the thanks, but what about the folks working in the lab to make sure your samples are handled properly? Or the bioinformatician who makes sure your data is just right so that one day they may find a cure? Or the administrator that keeps everyone on track? What about the janitor who keeps everything spotless so that everyone else can focus on their task at hand? Those people often go unnoticed, and worse yet, unthanked, even though their jobs are pushing the world of science ahead. If not for them, we wouldn’t be in this race to find cancer cures. If not for them, there would be less hope.
So I propose this Valentine’s Day that we all show them some love! Please send those folks a message and let them know you think they are #OutofSight – in a good way! You can send a note directly to someone you may have come into contact with, or you can just use the hashtag and send your message out on the internet. Here are some sample messages:
This #ValentinesDay, I want to give credit to those #OutofSight workers who make my hospital stay go smoothly! You’re the best!
You may be #OutofSight, but I know there are lots of people working to find cancer cures. Thank you!
You may be #OutofSight, but you are still on my mind. Thanks for working behind the scenes to make the world a better place!
You can add other meaningful hashtags, like #btsm (brain tumor social media) or #endcancer or whatever your community normally uses. Maybe more folks will see it and share the positive message.
And for all of you reading this, I want to take a moment to thank YOU. Being an advocate for someone with cancer is sometimes as simple as sharing a message.