We recently received a donation followed by an email with the behind-the-scene reason. Following is an edited version; the name of the donor and company are not as important as the story it tells and the lesson for all of us.
I have to tell you the story behind the $500.00 donation you received via PayPal. Seven years ago I was diagnosed with Synovial Sarcoma of the Larynx. I had to have my larynx removed and had a total laryngectomy. I now speak with a prosthetic voice valve. It’s a gravelly voice, but tons better than using an electro larynx, which sounds like a robotic voice.
Last Friday I received a call from a company in England. The woman who called was unaware that her call had dropped into my voice mail. She began talking to the person who was sitting next to her, laughing and commenting on my voice mail greeting and the way my voice sounded. She called it a ‘creepy’ voice and couldn’t stop laughing. I wasn’t offended because I realized that she was unaware of the reason why I talked like that. But I felt that I should call the company back and just make them aware of what happened so they could avoid any possibility of it happening to someone who would be offended or insulted.
I spoke to the Director of the company who took immediate action. He asked me if I had a favorite charity or organization, and his company would make a donation. I told him that I really felt uncomfortable with him doing that, because I really wasn’t offended. I just wanted him to be aware of what this person is doing on the phone. He gave me his e-mail address and asked if I wouldn’t email him later in the day with the name of an organization.
I thought about it for a couple of hours and gave him the information for the Sarcoma Alliance. My wife and I have always wanted to do more for your organization and I felt this would be one way to express our appreciation to you. Thank you for being there and helping those with all types of Sarcoma!