Andy Stephenson, an activist investigating voting machine fraud in Florida and Ohio, has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Like a lot of folks on our side, he has no money and thus, of course, no health insurance. Someone from Democratic Underground managed to get him checked into John Hopkins (one of the few hospitals equipped to handle his case), but he needs $50,000 in cash to pay for his treatment. Not a good position to be in.
But certainly a whole lot better one than, say, just a few years back. Why? The power of the Internet to connect activists at the grassroots. Nothing could demonstrative the transformative nature of this better than the “campaign” to save Andy’s life. In less than three full days, via a posting on D.U. and postings to email lists and blogs, his friends have managed to raise $20,000 to pay for his surgery.
That’s right. $20,000. Most of it, as far as I could tell by scanning through the 1000 post thread on DU, in small donations. This is without any exposure in conventional media, and (as far as I can tell) without having many of the “big guns” in the blogosphere weigh in (this also shows the power of the blogosphere’s long tail – your story doesn’t have to be on the top line of the leading blogs to make an impact and reach a large audience).
We are not alone. Take heart, activists. There is hope – if life comes along and knocks you down, there’s going to be someone there to pick you up. Probably a lot of someones.
… and the mainstream media still haven’t picked up on this. Possibly one of the best “human interest” stories to come along in quite a while, one that ties into some of the hippest trends imaginable, and three days later… nothing. Hey, you there, mr. and ms. “journalist” person, want a scoop? Cover this story!