Re “It Pays to Be a Star on Charity Circuit,” Dec. 8:
The practice whereby celebrities expect generous paydays for charity appearances demonstrates how underfunded illnesses become victims of discrimination.
I thought the idea behind a charity fundraiser was to help those needing assistance, unable to get sufficient resources through regular channels, to get funding and media recognition through celebrity-endorsed events. In placing a big price tag on these fundraisers, you essentially eliminate the most needy and underfunded causes. The already rich disease organizations get richer, and the poor and lesser-known diseases are cast aside.
One such example of discrimination is the condition known as hydrocephalus. Today, it remains the leading neurological condition among children and affects teens, adults and many seniors. Those of us (myself included) with hydrocephalus live outside of mainstream society, and outside the financial reaches of celebrity endorsements and media recognition. After more than 50 years of treatment for hydrocephalus, it remains one of the most underfunded and unrecognized disabling conditions in the U.S. This recent revelation of celebrity appearance practices only adds salt to our wounds.