Monday, March 7, 2011

Yes We Can, Sir!

I'd like to be a little serious here for a moment.

One of my favourite frequent livejournal bloggers is K-box. Despite the fact that he's been banned from multiple sites such as Scansdaily and TheBeat, I continue to follow his site which he updates on an impressive basis multiple times a week, and usually daily. This is made even more impressive when you consider that he's got a day job working for a newspaper. The main reason I visit his site is for the guilty pleasure of seeing the schadenfreude of Spider-Man's numbers going down every month (save those issues with variant covers) after the absymal event of One More Day. (For the uninitiated, you're better off not knowing. For the curious, check elsewhere)

More than that, I'm equally impressed with his stance on morality issues, such as bullying, Gay rights, and Veterans of Pearl Harbor. His hard-nosed worldview is further cemented with the impressive fact that he was in the army for seven years, and didn't let his experience beat him down. Rather, it made him a tougher person willing to fight back against the injustice of an uncaring world. I may not always agree with his opinions or subjects, but I still enjoy seeing his reactions while still maintaining a kind of journalistic integrity.

To me, he's the modern-day Hunter S. Thompson, with his unwavering moral code, his rude behaviour, his appeal for mainstream unattractive women, and his constant fixation against Marvel's editorial mandate. Joe Quesada is his Nixon and One More Day is his Watergate.

So when he brings up a subject that's more serious than his most recent entries, I sit up and take notice:

Calling in the nerd troops for a good cause

Some of you know me, some don't. My name's Paul Pogue, Indianapolis, Indiana, lifelong nerd, father to three-year-old cancer survivor Armand Zefram Pogue.

A couple of years ago, Armand was diagnosed with just about the worst case of cancer imaginable — a stage-four neuroblastoma that put a tumor the size of a cabbage in his stomach and left him with survival odds in the low double digits.

Armand is doing great now, two years later, and is cancer-free. But recently our circle of friends was hit with the cruel hammer of irony. One of my close friends these many years is Sarah Rogers. Last week her 12-year-old daughter Patty was diagnosed with stage-four neuroblastoma — exactly the same kind Armand had, and possibly an even worse case, with a tumor wrapped around her spine and another in her lung.

Right now she's at Peyton Manning Children's Hospital in Indianapolis, getting the finest care available — as it happens, in one of the very same rooms in which my son spent so many days fighting for his life.

My goal is to help Patty stay a little more sane. If there's one thing my family knows after 240 long days of inpatient treatment, it is that the days can go on endlessly. Armand got lucky — he had a DVD player and later an iPod to while away the days. And for a cancer patient who can barely even sit up, there is nothing better in the world than an iPod.

Unless, of course, it's two years later and the world now has the iPad.

Patty Rogers doesn't have her own computer, and even a laptop would be kind of hard to work with in the hard days ahead when she might be flat on her back for a long time. But an iPad? Perfect.

So I want to help get Patty an iPad ASAP and help her stay just a little bit more sane. But I can't do it alone. I'm putting up $50 to start a fund, and Apple's already agreed to give her a discount. I'd like to ask the nerds of the world to lend a hand — 50 cents, five bucks, ten bucks, anything you can give.

If we go over the limit needed, I'll just throw in an iTunes store card to fill her up. If we go a lot more, I'm handing it straight over to the family for gas, food or whatever they need. Cancer is EXPENSIVE, and not just the medical treatment.

For convenience's sake, we're taking the online donations via PayPal. Send it to and put "For Patty's iPad" or something similar in the header.

One other request: If you have a blog or anyplace online where people listen to what you have to say, please repost this and see if anyone else is up for helping. Think of it as an all-nerd alert!

I know it's asking a lot. But I also know that my family and I wouldn't have made it through the last two horrible years without the enormous support of everyone around us, and I want to do everything I can to help Patty Rogers get the same help.

Want to know more about her? Check out If you have any questions or want more confirmation that this is on the up-and-up, drop me a line at and we'll talk.

Thanks a lot, everyone!

Paul F.P. Pogue
Veteran of the cancer wars

UPDATE - good news everybody! Paul’s just recieved enough donations from everybody generous enough to contribute. Ironically enough, there was a charity in another state that had a fund for providing iPads to sick children, rendering his cry for help moot. At least every little bit counts, and it gave me the impetuous to spread the word and help.

1 comment:

  1. Update!

    Operation Nerd Voltron was a great success. Patty Rogers’ friends here in Indiana and the combined nerds of the world brought in a little more than $1,000 in 48 hours – much higher than I remotely expected or hoped, with contributions from as far away as Australia and Germany. You have our deepest thanks, whether you contributed, reposted to your blogs or just sent good thoughts our way.

    We had a wacky situation-comedy-esque turn of events when it turned out we were beaten to the punch. Turns out there’s a new foundation in town that gives away iPads to children with cancer in Indianapolis – so new, in fact, that Patty is the first kid at Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital to actually get one. On the upside, we did get a bit of advance warning, so in the face of this change, we did what any self-respecting nerd would do: blinged the holy living heck out of the iPad. Carrying case, keyboard, and the like, plus an iTunes card of truly epic proportions. I considered a diamond-encrusted case but decided that would be a little, you know, excessive.

    Since this money was given with the express purpose of “make Patty be a little bit less crazy,” we put aside the rest of the cash that would have gone to the iPad and told her to let us know what she’d like to do with it, with the only requirement being that it should be something she’d really enjoy. (The look on her face when hearing this news was, in fact, worth all the effort in and of itself.) The rest will be handed off to the family to help with expenses as soon as it transfers out of PayPal. Any further donations will go straight to the family.

    All our thanks and love to everyone, and a special shout-out to the Aidan Brown Foundation (, who I hope will have great success in their ongoing mission to equip every cancer-fighting kid in the city with an iPad.

    Both the Pogue and Rogers families were enormously touched by the tremendous outpouring of support for someone in need. Not only was this a much-needed practical help, it was also a reminder to all that no matter how bad this looks, they are not going through this alone.

    To keep up with Patty Rogers’ continuing fight on the front lines of the cancer war, just check out

    Thank you all so very, very much!

    Paul F. P. Pogue

    (P.S.: This ended up being posted far and wide on blogs I’ve never even heard of, thanks to the efforts of many of you. If you posted the original request to your blog, could you please re-post here so people know how it turned out? Thanks!)