Even before the lump in Drew Olanoff's neck was confirmed as stage 3 Hodgkin lymphoma, Drew was blaming his possible cancer for life's mishaps--losing his keys, misplacing his wallet, his favorite team losing. He just naturally assumed the lump was cancer. When he was finally diagnosed with lymphoma--yep, he blamed his diagnosis on his cancer, which actually makes a little sense.
Pretty soon, his mom and friends joined in. Next came www.blamedrewscancer.com
, a website idea Drew came up with, which was designed by a friend who had actually just beaten Hodgkin lymphoma. On the site, Drew welcomed others to blame his cancer for their own problems. "Why? Because you have to beat up on Cancer to win," he says on the site.
He used the microblogging site, Twitter
as his platform. People from around the world who use the site to write about what they're thinking and doing in 140 characters are less are now writing about what they're blaming Drew's cancer for--not having a girlfriend for Valentine's Day, their car not starting, a stomach ache. "My personal favorite is, 'I blame Drew's cancer for Michael Bolton and Fabio.' Completely random, but funny," Drew says.
"I don't want to offend anyone and I don't want to make it look like I'm making fun of cancer," he says, but it's also a way for him to keep a positive attitude through the ordeal. It's also provided an avenue for other survivors to offer support and advice to Drew. "I'm very honored that people are reaching out. It's amazing."
The campaign on Twitter and his website quickly went viral. The site, which officially launched last Thursday, has already racked up more than 9,000 Twitter posts, or tweets, by Tuesday morning. If people post their comment on Twitter with "#BlameDrewsCancer" it will appear on the site and be counted. People can also watch the stream on the site. Future plans for www.blamedrewscancer.com include adding cancer resource links to provide support for others dealing with cancer.
Now thousands of strangers are blaming Drew's cancer for life's little (and big) wrongs. Even the iconic cancer survivor Lance Armstrong chimed in. "I blame Drew's cancer for my broken collarbone in Spain," Armstrong tweeted a few days after the campaign launched. "That was awesome," Drew says.
He's also hoping the campaign can raise money for a cancer charity. He's currently looking for a corporate sponsor to match funds for each person who has blamed Drew's cancer on Twitter. In the meantime, he's also started a Facebook cause page
, which has raised more than $1,000 for the American Cancer Society from individual private donations.
So, if it's not yet Friday, the dry cleaners lost your favorite shirt, or ... you happen to have cancer, blame Drew's cancer. It might make you feel better.