Tuesday, September 01, 2009

The Real Reason The AFL Folded

Drew's Cancer

Meet Drew Olanoff.

Olanoff, a 29-year-old San Francisco technology worker, was diagnosed with Stage 3 Hodgkin’s lymphoma on May 20. Instead of panicking, he decided to turn his plight into one big practical joke. Now, what started as a clever gag on Twitter is being used to combat not only his cancer, but everyone else's.

In March, before he was diagnosed, Olanoff put out a challenge on Twitter: Whoever donates the most money to The Make-A-Wish Foundation would get their Twitter name tattooed on his arm. A man of his word, Olanoff now has @melaniemitchell plastered on his skin for life, and The Make-A-Wish Foundation has an extra $2,112 to make a sick child’s dream come true.

Once cancer became personal, Olanoff upped the ante and began a campaign on the microblogging site Twitter that would allow people to let off steam and “blame his cancer for stuff”.

Olanoff was invited to speak at Pulver’s “140 Character [Twitter] Conference." Shortly after Olanoff accepted the gig, he was diagnosed with cancer. It quickly became apparent to the conference organizer that Olanoff would speak on the social good panel to launch his already popular #blamedrewscancer initiative in an even bigger way. Olanoff traveled directly to the conference in New York City from a chemotherapy session in Philadelphia, where he is originally from. “I believe his voice is being heard by millions of people,” Pulver says.

The #blamedrewscancer idea really took off when Lance Armstrong tweeted about it at 9:01 a.m. on June 4:

I blame Drew's cancer for my broken collarbone in Spain http://blamedrewscancer.com #blamedrewscancer.
In an instant, hundreds of thousands of people were aware of this new catchphrase and Olanoff quickly became an official fundraiser for Armstrong's charitable foundation.

Olanoff has had some crazy blames for his cancer. One of the coolest and oddest was when a friend videotaped rock star Jon Bon Jovi blaming Drew’s cancer for the Arena Football League folding.

Hey Drew; you're a Philly boy, huh? well, I blame the AFL season being suspended on Drew's cancer. Go Soul.

On Sept. 9 (09-09-09), Olanoff will be hosting #blamedrewscancer’s first "Blame-A-Thon" in Philadelphia. The occasion, sponsored by the genetic-testing company 23andme, will be streamed live on the Internet. Every time someone blames something on Drew’s cancer and tweets #23andme, the company will donate $1 to Livestrong.

Drawing from the same ingenuity and good will that led to his Twitter-tattoo-charity initiative, Drew and his friend and Hodgkin’s survivor Mike Demers launched the website BlameDrewsCancer.com, which collects any tweet that blames Drew’s cancer for a mishap and is accompanied with the hashtag #blamedrewscancer. The objective is to have corporate sponsors donate $1 for every unique participant to the American Cancer Society and the Make a Wish Foundation.

To blame Drew’s cancer on your latest trial or tribulation, please tweet away and remember to add the hashtag #blamedrewscancer. You can also become a member of the BlameDrewsCancer.com Facebook group, which has raised $1375 to date.

I know a lot of you out there in Cyberworld have been touched by cancer. You, someone you love, or someone you know has some form of cancer. The rest of you, I know you must have had a shitty day in the recent past. Or maybe you've just stepped in gum.

Tweet it. Blame it on Drew's Cancer.

~ Hath

Sources: MSNBC Melissa Jun Rowley


Judith September 1, 2009 at 5:28 PM  

I saw the vid of Jon before, but I didn´t knew the story behind.
Thanks for posting this!
I´m sure I´ll find something I can blame Drew´s cancer for...

Becky September 1, 2009 at 11:00 PM  

This is so cool! I tweeted about it already - thanks Hath. :)

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