Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Free hugs for cancer

New York's Union Square is a place you go big or go home. The park has a history of labor demonstrations and other protests going back decades. So when I met a group of college students offering "free hugs for cancer" I was a little suspicious. I wondered if they were part of some offbeat religious outreach.

As tempted as I was to just step onto the subway, I felt a little curious about their effort. Many years ago I had been part of ad campaign where I had to hand out daffodils on the streets of NYC and people thought I was daffy for doing it.

So I asked what kind of cancer they were curing, of course the reply was,"breast cancer." I chatted a bit more with Joesephine Zhu, a sophomore business major at Baruch College, and it seemed like the group of fraternity and sorority members were sincere in their efforts to help raise money for an upcoming "Relay for Life," event at their school.

I feel a bit awkward when someone asks me for money to fight cancer. I still have several thousand dollars in bills to pay to my cancer center, which is a top research facility. I sure hope some of those dollars help fund research, but maybe the money just covers costs.

I offered a small donation and wished them well. Josephine replied, "It's nice to meet one of the people we are helping."

It was nice to meet her too.



  1. Hi Suzanne!
    Thank you so much for featuring us on your blog! Thanks to much hard work and generous contributions from strangers, my sorority (alpha Kappa Delta Phi) and our brother fraternity whom we collaborated with for the Free Hugs event (Lambda Phi Epsilon) earned the title of the two highest Fundraising teams for Relay for Life!
    The website can be found here:
    It's an honor to be contributing to such a noble cause, and a pleasure to be meeting the people that we're helping.
    Best of luck to you!

    -Josephine Zhu

  2. Hey thanks for writing. I just fixed a few spelling errors, I must have been sleepy when I wrote this!