As some readers may already know, I’m taking part in Dry July, an event that raises money to support adult cancer patients. For the month of July (all 31 days) Dry July participants give up alcohol and people sponsor them to do so. The money raised goes towards improving the facilities at the Auckland Cancer and Blood Services, namely purchasing purpose-built chemotherapy chairs, making some aesthetic improvements, and sprucing up the garden. These may all seem like little things, but the people at the hospital think they’ll make a real difference – and it’s not hard to imagine why. From what I understand (and anyone with more expertise is quite welcome to correct me), undergoing chemotherapy treatment involves a lot of sitting around letting chemicals drip into your arm with very little to do except look at the wall, talk to the other people receiving treatment and think about, well, probably not great thoughts. I can’t imagine that is good for one’s morale and I can’t imagine that in turn is good for one’s recovery.

All of this was impressed upon me by a story on Three News. Now, I know we can’t trust everything we see on the news, so I went to the Dry July website. I wasn’t overly impressed by what I saw. The tone of the website was a little ‘we all drink too much and it’s about time we did something about it’. I disagree; I don’t think I drink too much. I know this because I won’t be the least bit sad about giving up spirits or wine. But sometimes I feel like there’s always a reason for not supporting this charity or that. When really, you don’t want to sacrifice whatever it is they’re asking you to donate, whether it’s time, money or effort.

Which led me to the conclusion that I really don’t mind giving up beer to make 60 people* a day more comfortable during their difficult time. I will give up Pale Ales, IPAs, Barley Wines, Red Ales, Dopplebocks, Porters, Saisons, and even Stouts in the hope that just one or two more people can keep their spirits up and beat the bastard that is cancer.

If you’d like to support me, you can donate here, or if you think it’s a great cause, but I shouldn’t get any credit, you can give to the Team SOBA effort. Team SOBA is six SOBA members who are giving up one of their great loves to help – and special mention should be made of Greig McGill, who is a fundraising machine.

All that’s left to say is – are you willing to give up the price of two drinks and the time it takes to order them to donate a small amount?

* Edit: while the news article had the number at 300, I have it on good authority the number is closer to 40-60. Still a lot of people every year.

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