bumped for starraven.Begging for money for Cancer Research plays on the public's guilt and ignorance and puts scientific priorities in the hands of the unkowledgable. There are ways that scientific research in this country are funded, be it astronomy or lymphoma. Grant applications, vetting processes, scientific oversight, etc. It's an intelligent system and it works. Going directly to the public is just a ploy by certain research groups to get even more money out of the public than the academic community believes is warranted. You can tell it smells funny because the appeals never deal in hard facts, instead they make emotional appeals to make you feel like a bad person if you don't give. The original poster's paragraph is a prime example of that. She/he makes it sound like it's our fault if our grandpa dies of cancer because we didn't contribute to her/his little bike ride.
What you don't see out of these fundraisers is facts. You don't see discussion of, here's the amount of cancer research funding available from the government, here's the amount available from trusts and foundations, etc., here's what it goes to, here's where the shortfall is which is why we are appealing to you, etc. You know, presenting something that sounds more down to earth and less like an advertising spiel.
Ultimately, that's how these fundraisers strike me -- they want my money the same way that McDonald's or Budweiser or Toyota want my money. Because they want to keep their jobs and grow their enterprise.