I just finished watching the documentary film based on the book 'Freakonomics.' Inspiring stuff. The book, if you haven't read it, is essentially about one thing—incentives—and whether baiting has any effect on the outcome of a situation. The book is famous for its reporting on a University Chicago study on whether ninth graders can be incentivized with cash to get better grades.
As the film wore on, I began to think about The Pablove Foundation, and incentive proposition we are putting forth in our messaging to the world. In my head, I coined the term Pablovnomics, and laughed aloud—to myself, since I'm home alone. Creepy, but true. Our dogs Chili and Beans must think I'm nuts.
If the incentive inherent in The Pablove Foundation isn't clear to you, allow me to dust it off:
In the construct of my mind, Pablovnomics is a simplistic paradigm. At one end, there is the confusion, hurt and the mortality mystery that is pediatric cancer. That's the end Pablo, Jo Ann, Grady and I ended up on.
On the other end of the spectrum is the complete eradication of pediatric cancer—no out-of-nowhere diagnoses, no loss of hair, appetite, body mass or school days for your child, and no loss of life at the hands of an invisible opponent. This end is the promised land. When we get to this end of the playing field, 'my daughter has cancer' will be no more cause for alarm than 'my daughter has a cold, we can't make your dinner party.' Cancer parents talk about the dream of a pediatric cancer diagnosis requiring only a trip to the drug store to buy a box of pills off the shelf.
The drug store scenario, and all that comes with it, is the incentive Jo Ann and I have. We want to see an absolute end to cancer. We want children to outlive their parents. We want for other people what we did not get to experience with Pablo. This is the fiery core of emotion that fuels our Pablove Foundation work.
And you know what? One day, we will be there, in the drug store, buying a Vanity Fair and pills to knock out a little girl's Wilms' Tumor, or a little boy's neuroblastoma.
The Pablovnomics incentive for me is manifold. I don't want you or anyone you or I know to go through what my son Pablo went through, or to lose a child to cancer. It's painful and the loss of purpose in one's life and clarity in the world is, so far for me, unending. But still, Jo Ann and I fight on. While working toward that goal, we want to contribute to the world in a way that displays a simple act: one group doing a little bit every day does a lot, and a bunch of groups doing daily has a great deal of power. This is something we've learned from our friends at Livestrong. And it's something we hold true.
When we ask you to spread our message in your social circles and on your social networks, it's not unclear to us what's in it for The Pablove Foundation. When we ask you to show up at an event, and to bring a few friends, the purpose behind the gathering of Pablove tribes is not oblique to us. When we ask you to open you wallet and drop your hard-earned cash into our coffers, it's for something deadly serious: to keep the balloon of hope afloat long enough to make a difference.
The incentive proposition of The Pablove Foundation is that simple—people helping kids to live, survive and prosper. And it's that complicated—all of us, running as fast as we can, until the Jonas Salk of the Cancer Generation stands up and hands over the goods.
When we ask you to give us some of your time and some of your money, and we shovel it into the Pablove furnace.
A snapshot of the Pablove capacity we're building toward: The Pablove Foundation Scientific Advisory Committee has been built, with the best forward-thinking researchers and clinicians—led by Dr. Leo Mascarenhas—from Harvard, Duke, USC, U of Michigan, Texas Children's, CHLA, City of Hope and other hubs of medical science wealth. The Pablove Foundation science crew will recommend to our board what research programs will make best use of our funds—which have been fueled by you. We will begin giving out research grants in the first quarter of 2011.
So, that's my speech about Pablovnomics and why everything you do to support us matters—a lot.