Fundgate: Tom Chick Beats Cancer
Tom Chick, curator of the well-known [notorious? haha] Quarter to Three forums and games & movies news and reviews web site has cancer. While this totally sucks, we know Tom's going to kick cancer right in the balls and be back podcasting on Quarter to Three soon.
That said, he's going to be out of commission for a while taking care of the rare, stage 4 cancer. I'm asking the industry to take a minute to donate so he can have a little something extra to rely on if and when he needs anything. Thanks!
Tom sent me a note to post on his behalf here to everyone who sent well wishes and donated. It's below. Thanks again,
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The first thing I want to do is apologize. You probably don't want me to, but I just can't help it. The overwhelming feeling I have about this thing, even as the treatment and the effects of the treatment get more terrible, is that it's just so trite. It's a contrived plot point in a bad script. It's as senseless and uninteresting as a car wreck. It's common and vulgar and beneath us all. Cells gone haywire. Tiny unruly cells, breaking the rules. So trite.
The second and more important thing I want to do is thank you all. The outpouring of support in the days after I explained my situation has been overwhelming in the best way possible. I didn't know what to expect, but I didn't expect this. After months of being unsure about what was going on, and then months of being unsure of what sort of help I would be able to get, and then being unsure how to break it to my friends and family, I got accustomed to uncertainty and vagueness. When it was determined I was going to be unable to speak for a period of time and I therefore wouldn't be able to do the podcasts, I knew I'd have to make some sort of announcement. If it hadn't been for that, I might not have said anything.
So when I made the announcement, the flood of supportive emails, comments, and donations was truly staggering. It's as if someone turned a firehose on me. I especially treasure the comments from people who have gone through something similar, or who have a loved one who has gone through a similar experience. Cancer is a disease, and I've known for months how it feels. But it's also a community, and I'm humbled by how welcoming that community has been to me.
And then there's this. When Stephanie asked me if she could set it up, I was a bit hesitant. Why would someone want to give me money just because I'm sick, especially since I have medical coverage?
I hesitate to go into financial stuff -- because, well, it's financial stuff -- but I want you guys to know exactly how much your donations matter to me, so I'm going to go into financial stuff. I don't make a lot of money. When I switched to a new advertising network for Quarter to Three earlier this year, it cut our income in half. Despite assurances it would pick up, it never did (if anyone knows a good ad network that pays more than Google ads, email me!). This has been literally the leanest financial year of my life. Which, ironically, qualifies me for state health care coverage. If I had gotten sick at this time last year or back when I was still freelancing for other sites, I would have been in a very different situation.
Shortly before my treatment began, I had just finished a job that would carry me through to the end of the year. And after then -- well, I'd worry about that bridge when I got to it. Everything I've been dealing with lately has been about making it through the treatment and the recovery process. Whatever's going to happen with the site or with a new ad network or maybe me getting a job or going back to freelancing for other sites, all that stuff could wait until I came out on the other side of this stupid trite cancer. At which point, I would be effectively broke, but hopefully healthy and in an ideal place to make some sort of dramatic life choice.
And that's why it means so much that you guys have been so generous. So many of you, and so many of you so generous. I can't tell you what a relief it is to know that even if the site doesn't make a nickel in the next year, I can keep working on it. That I don't have to make any dramatic decisions in the near future, that I can focus on just getting through the holiday season, getting through two more sessions of chemotherapy, five more weeks of radiation therapy, a couple of months of healing, the release of Far Cry 4, a new Bayonetta, the next Dragon Age, Oscar season at the movies. Whatever is going to happen to this silly idea that I can spend my life writing about videogames -- yes, videogames, because they're meaningful enough that they deserve to be written about -- isn't going to happen for some time. I run a site that makes no money. And thanks to so many of you, I will gladly continue to do just that.
But this is helpful to me an another more immediate level. For some reason, I've been denied an extension of my state coverage for the duration of the treatment process. California's health care system is trying to move me into a provider network structure that will involve "transferring treatment when I'm stabilized". I'm not sure what that will mean. I'm not sure what my coverage will look like if I'm transferred. It sounds messy and bureaucratic and it's currently pending.
I spoke to a friend recently who's also dealing with catastrophic health issues and the way he put it when I asked him about his healthcare coverage was "the shields are holding". Before last week, I wasn't sure I even had shields. But then you guys happened. I am truly grateful to each and every one of you for giving me something I'm not used to having: security.
While I'm going through all this, I hope you'll continue to drop by Quarter to Three. The podcasts will be in good hands. We have some really cool front page content planned in October, and I'll be doing my share as well. If you'd like to keep in touch with me, I welcome any emails at email@example.com, or feel free to join our forum where I plan to keep posting throughout my treatment and recovery. Heck, many of you are already there.
And again, my sincere thanks. Your support means more than I have words to express.
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A couple of things: first, thanks to everyone who has tweeted, Facebooked and donated. I have talked to Tom a few times today and he's feeling pretty saturated with the warm and fuzzy feelings.
Second, I know there's still a lot of people who will see the news, hear the podcast, tweets, etc. and donate, so I'm going to leave this page up for a week or so. There's no 'set amount' for something like this but GFM makes you put a number out there anyway.
Collusion at it's finest. Thank you, games industry, today you're a 4.5 / 5.