AS I SEE IT - 10/27/2000
by: Bob Magee

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Yup....this is going to be another one of those columns where we don't talk about subjects like the reason why WCW's booking sucks these days.

So if you want to go to one of those columns written by people who occasionally throw in some wrestling news and opinion in between their links to porn sites in order to get hits, have fun. I'm not your cup of tea this week.

Instead, I want to talk about something serious that has nothing whatever to do with wrestling.

Let me start by saying that I'm always for practical ways to do good things. It's the reason that we use some of the strategies that we use with Wrestling Fans Against Censorship. We try to do something good by doing what works most effectively and easily, while involving others.

So I'm for things practical...

But at the same time, one of my favorite comic strips is Tom Batiuk's "Funky Winkerbean". So when the strip began a storyline on breast cancer back in January 1999, I stood up and took notice as I read the strip on the way into work on the subway, or with my Sunday breakfast.

It explored the storyline of character "Lisa Moore", who after getting tackled in a football game with friends, felt discomfort, and later did a breast self-examination. She then discovered that she had breast cancer.

The last few mornings while reading before my subway stop, I noticed a series of strips that had "Lisa" talking with other members of her breast cancer support group.

Then this morning, when I read the press release from BusinessWire about this project that follows this introduction, I figured it fit my philosophy of doing something good by doing what works, effectively and easily, and especially involving others.

I figured I'd like to give over the column this week to share this with all of you.

Concurrently with this being Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a book called "Lisa's Story" has been made of the strips that involve the "Lisa Moore" storyline in the "Funky Winkerbean" strip, with sales benefiting the National Alliance of Breast Cancer Organizations.

You can order this book from through this direct order link.

Below you will find the press release that talks about this way to benefit research and care for breast cancer survivors, as well as the address and telephone number of the organization it benefits.

Even though I'm male, I find this to be important, because many of my best friends are women. My fellow school counselor I share my office with for eight hours a day is a woman. So are many of the students I serve. For that matter, so are my boss, my mom, and many other important folks in my life.

I've also known women who've fought the battle against breast cancer.

So I find the issue important enough to ask you to take a few minutes and read the information below.

For any of the women reading this, I'd also like to suggest that you consider getting a mammogram, as well as practice breast self-examination. NABCO, as well as many local women's and medical organizations can help you get both. For those that have women in their lives that they love, help encourage them to do so, too.

To help you encourage women to do this, those who wish to do so can even sign up with an e-mail reminder service sponsored by NABCO; and ten months after your last clinical breast exam or mammogram, NABCO will send you an e-mail message, reminding you to schedule your next exam.

For additional breast cancer information, contact NABCO toll free at (888) 80-NABCO, or if living in the New York metropolitan area, call Christiana Evers at (212) 889-0606, ext. 3006.

You can also get breast cancer information by visiting NABCO online at their website.

For those of you men (and women) who feel uncomfortable hearing about this subject, and who think it's stupid for someone writing a "wrestling column" to be talking about it...think about how much more "stupid" it will be if someone you love dies, simply because she didn't take the time to be safe.

Until next time....

Bob Magee


Sales of "Lisa's Story" Will Benefit NABCO

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - New York, September 25, 2000

When Tom Batiuk's nationally syndicated comic strip Funky Winkerbean began its compelling breast cancer storyline in January of 1999, some questioned whether such a serious subject belonged on the funny pages. However, after two years of overwhelming support from breast cancer organizations and survivors as well as media across the country,
"Lisa's Story" has shown that not even cancer can injure the funnybone.

Now, in time for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month this October, the "Lisa's Story" series returns as an inspirational new book that approaches the sensitive topic of breast cancer with openness, humor and tact. Created in partnership with the National Alliance of Breast Cancer Organizations (NABCO) and published by Perigee Books, a division of Penguin Putnam Inc., "Lisa's Story" will be available at bookstores in October 2000 ($12.95, ISBN: 0-399-52666-8). In addition, readers can visit the BookSpot on at NABCO's website to order the book online.

The paperback includes the complete Funky Winkerbean breast cancer comic strip series that follows Batiuk's character, Lisa, through all the complex physical, psychological and social issues that she and her friends and family face when she is diagnosed with the disease. "Lisa's Story" also includes comments from the many survivors, family and friends who write to tell how the comic strip series touched their lives. The book features a comprehensive list from NABCO of medical, practical, personal and support resources for breast cancer patients, survivors and their families.

"This talented author has proven that by using his familiar and friendly characters to communicate accurate information about a crucial women's health issue, he can enlighten and educate new audiences who might not otherwise be reached," said Amy S. Langer, NABCO's Executive Director and a 15-year breast cancer survivor. Ms. Langer contributed the Foreword to "Lisa's Story," entitled Can Cancer Tickle the Funny Bone?

Tom Batiuk and King Features Syndicate, which distributes Funky Winkerbean to more than 400 newspapers worldwide, first contacted NABCO before Lisa's breast cancer storyline began, partnering with this leading non-profit resource as an educational advisor and to help raise awareness about the series.

Batiuk's series of "Lisa's Story" strips earned particular acclaim, enthusiastic fan mail from breast cancer survivors and their families, widespread media attention and the Duke Comprehensive Cancer Center's
"Jonquil Award." After continually being asked by fans, survivors and the medical community whether "Lisa's Story" could be turned into a book, Batiuk, King Features and NABCO set to work to make it a reality.

"Tom Batiuk's ability to handle a complex issue with such sensitivity and humor captured our interest," said Jennifer Repo, Editor, Perigee Books. "By publishing in this unique, refreshing format, we knew we could reach anyone who has been touched by breast cancer. 'Lisa's Story' is humorous, serious, useful, and comforting all at the same time."

"At its best, art should strive to get in touch with a common humanity," said Batiuk. "Based on the heartfelt responses I received from people around the country, it seems that 'Lisa's Story' somehow managed to approach that ideal by going to this difficult place. The many requests to have her story collected have resulted not only in this book, but with the help of NABCO, in the creation of a valuable resource tool as well."

To support NABCO's vital, non-profit mission of educating the public about breast cancer, Batiuk and King Features will each donate a portion of the proceeds of "Lisa's Story" sales to the organization.

One in nine women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with breast cancer over the course of her lifetime. It is a disease that touches everyone's life, whether it is through a relative, friend or co-worker. Every woman is at risk, and although breast cancer cannot be prevented, it can be detected early, when chances for successful treatment are high.

Yet, many women fear the disease - they avoid learning the facts, and may skip the annual screening exams that could save their lives. Also, many women living with breast cancer are unaware of the many excellent services and resources for information and support now available. Tom Batiuk and NABCO want "Lisa's Story" to help guide people to those needed resources, removing fear with humor and inspiring women to learn lifesaving facts and take care of their own health.

NABCO, The National Alliance of Breast Cancer Organizations, was founded in 1986 and based in New York City. NABCO is the leading non-profit education and information resource on breast cancer and a national force in patient advocacy. NABCO provides information to medical professionals and their organizations, patients and their families and the media. In addition, NABCO advocates for regulatory change and legislation that benefits patients and women at risk.

With public and corporate partners, NABCO has collaborated on educational and medical programs that have been successful in reaching a national audience, heightening public awareness and connecting women with needed services.

Until next time...


(If you have comments or questions, I can be reached by e-mail at