“Do More Good”
That’s the slogan gracing the top of the Peaceful Media website, the entrance to our Portland office, the mugs on our desk everywhere, the pillows we rest on, and even the t-shirts we wear
Okay, only some of the time… Maybe… It’s not like we’re a cult or anything.
But we are dedicated to our mission.
In fact, the whole mission statement reads like this:
“Love more, Play more, Do more good.”
Not surprising for a company called Peaceful Media, you may think.
But, if you happened to read our blog post about Jason’s Peaceful Manifesto, then you already know that our mission statement runs deep within the company culture.
And the reason it’s formulated in the imperative: it’s not because we’re advising (or commanding!?!) our clients to do these things. Though we make our expectations clear to them early on. (And happily fire them if they ain’t no do-gooders of the world.)
Our mission statement, rather, is formulated in the imperative and posted everywhere in both our internal and external communications so that we keep reminding ourselves about the true purpose of the work we do. To keep advising and inspiring ourselves first and foremost not simply to do good work, but to do good through our work.
And our mission statement (as well as our obsessive posting of it everywhere) proved highly effective when Ron came into our lives.
Ron Khare is an amazing man who’s an ex-marine and a veteran of the Vietnam war. And just a few years ago, when he was in his early 60s, he started experiencing some health issues. Like most of us who fear that symptoms may point to a serious problem, he was reluctant to visit a doctor and tried instead to find natural remedies to alleviate his pain. And his approached worked, but only as a temporary means of relief between bouts of pain and suffering.
When the pain got too much to bare, literally bringing him down to his knees every time he used the restroom, he finally decided to visit the doctor.
And that was when Ron received the news he feared the most: Cancer.
After much painful probing and poking and many costly tests the final results were out: Ron had a tumorous cancer in his bladder. More tests and a biopsy (which, if the doctor had his way, would have been a complete bladder removal) showed no spreading of the tumor to any of Ron’s other organs.
Nevertheless, the doctor was convinced that the cancer was spreading to Ron’s abdomen. So he quickly pulled out a calendar and lifted his ball-point pen to schedule the bladder removal operation he was recommending (read: imposing): “Maybe next Tuesday or Thursday works for you?”
Ron and his wife, Phyllis, who is part of our Peaceful family, were aghast!
Why such insistence on removing Ron’s bladder? The operation would dramatically deteriorate Ron’s quality of life and leave him with a life expectancy of 3-4 additional years.
But the doctor wouldn’t budge. No other options. No further discussion. No room for exploring alternatives. Remove your bladder, call it your only option, watch your life (ironically) get flushed down the toilet.
Thankfully, Ron and Phyllis wouldn’t have it. Thankfully, they had the clarity of mind and the strength of spirit in that most difficult hour to say “Thanks, but no thanks,” and walk out of the doctor’s office.
And that’s when their real adventure began. As if they had an easy ride so far…
The adventure of finding out what all their options really were. The adventure of searching, and asking, and learning about alternative treatment methods. Alternatives that were non-invasive and nowhere nearly as aggressive as the doctor-recommended bladder removal. And alternatives that unfortunately proved less convenient to American health insurance companies than “Tuesday or Thursday next week.”
But Ron and Phyllis weren’t about to give up. They’re fighters, and they decided to fight for Ron’s right to a better treatment and more dignified treatment. Alone. On their own dime. And doing their own research.
And they’re still fighting this. Ron has already received the alternative, FDA-approved treatment that has been working for him and many others at an astounding success rate of 85-92% remission. The treatment, called Hyperthermia and Low Dose Radiation, was offered at the Bicher Cancer Institute and is now available in many hospitals.
But here’s the limitation: this treatment only kills the daughter cancer cell, not the stem cells that produce the cancer. That’s why the cancer keeps coming back. Hyperthermia and Low Dose Radiation have helped Ron eliminate cancer from his body two times already and small surgeries removed cancer two more times. But they can’t provide a permanent solution.
What will kill the cancer stem cells and get rid of Ron’s cancer for good is immunotherapy.
BUT (and here’s the catch now), in the US, Ron can only qualify for this treatment if he gets his bladder removed! (So back to square one…) The only place that will give Ron the immunotherapy treatment he needs to kill the cancerous stem cells is the Hope4Cancer clinic in Mexico. But none of the Medicare or VA medical support will pay for the clinic.
So Ron decided to share his personal Odyssey of battling cancer to raise awareness about the effectiveness of hyperthermia as an alternative cancer treatment and about the need for providing immunotherapy to the patients who chose it. Awareness that would help him receive the help he needs to cover the cost of treatment. But also awareness that would shed light on how the health system forces cancer patients to “choose” the traditional invasive cancer treatments that lower their quality of life and merely allow them survive a few more years.
And what Ron found in opening up to the world was that the was not alone in this struggle.
Many people from across the country suffering with the similar types of cancer have been in touch with Ron to share their stories with him. To get his feedback and advice. To find out about this cancer treatment that Ron had been undergoing. To listen to his story of struggle and to share theirs.
And that’s how Ron found himself in a position of supporting, helping, and encouraging others who suffer the same pain he does.
And that’s how the opportunity appeared before us to Do More Good. To help, support, and encourage this man on his cause to bring awareness around alternative cancer treatment therapy and the need for American social insurance companies to cover immunotherapy. This information could help many people that are currently suffering with traditional cancer treatment. People who don’t even know they have any other options. Because no one’s talking about it.
When we found out about Ron’s plight at Peaceful Media, we immediately offered to help in his effort to raise awareness. We could build a website for them! We could help Ron build an audience and connect with people who needed to hear his message! We could help Ron spread his message on social media channels! We could even help Ron raise money for his costly treatments directly through fundraisers and indirectly through our program sales so he could go on fighting the good fight!
Ideas started flying around quickly and densely! But of course, since Peaceful Media isn’t a one-man operation and since these ideas would require a team to build and develop, a message was sent out for anyone who wanted to help: Only if they wanted to, only if they had the time, strictly pro bono.
And people from all areas of the company answered the call and showed up at the meeting. People that would manage the project, design and build the websites, build the strategy, and create the deliverables. In less than an hour, the project was well on its way as if the the whole team had been brought together and coordinated for one of our paid projects.
And that’s really the heart of this story. Because we may not get a monetary exchange for working on the Heal Ron Project, but the reward we receive in doing more good in the world and doing good in this man’s life far surpasses anything anyone could ever pay us.
The work is the reward itself.
And this isn’t to slight in any way the paid work we do. Because as emphasized in the beginning we always make sure that that work allows to Do More Good in the world (yoga poses and all) before signing the contract. And it is those paid and wonderful projects that make our team members capable, available, and willing to give their time and talents to a project that simply couldn’t run otherwise.
And that to us, that circle of helping spread the good through the projects we execute for clients who do more good in the world and then having the chance to put more good in the world ourselves by helping those who need it but can’t afford it, that is Doing More Good. In its deepest sense and greatest joy.
And that, we also think, is what good companies and good teams should do. More Good. To provide more love, more play, and more good in the world. Because if not for the good of the world, then why are we even in this at all, right?
And with that, and in closing, I’d like to extend an invitation to you: To come join us in doing more good (in doing this good) in the world by contributing to Ron’s story. You can help spread the word of his journey and help him reach people who may be struggling through a similar cancer case and need to hear his message by sharing his page with your friends and followers. Or, what would really mean a lot, you can even contribute to his cause directly by donating any amount can through this link:
Because the world needs us. The world needs YOU to help Do More Good. Not just to work more and get the job done. But to love more, to play more, to feel more, and to do more. To do whatever we can. Because together we can Do More Good!