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Fuck Cancer CEO Yael Cohen On You Can’t Please Everybody



“Sometimes people are offended by the name, which is obviously never our intention. But I’ve learned that we’re not here to please everyone, and I’m ok with that. Not everybody loves what we do–and that’s probably for the best, because the people who do love what we do? We resonate with them, and we give them a home, and a safe place to feel comfortable learning and talking and going through this experience. If we were to dilute our mission or our message in the interest of pleasing everyone, we would be boring, and we wouldn’t please anyone. We wouldn’t upset anyone, but no one would really care about us.

“When I started out I was 22, so of course I wanted to please everyone. Not even please; I wanted to help everyone. And no matter when you came to us, and no matter how you found it, I wanted to make sure that we helped, and you could believe in us. It took me a few years to be ok with people not being into what we do. And it’s a good thing. Everything we do is really edgy, and sometimes people aren’t into that. We do walk a fine line, but we spend a lot of time ensuring that it’s edgy but not offensive. That it gets the point across and teaches them something, or lets them engage with cancer on a different level, and it never straight-out offends.You either love us, or we’re not for you. And that’s ok, because the people that love us, we’re helping through some of the shittiest days of their lives.”

Going forward:

“What [the polarizing nature of their organization] has made us do is set up committees. When people tell us they don’t like us and aren’t into us, if they have a good point, we ask them to join one of a few different, specific committees we have so we can learn from them before we put things out. Like, ‘How does this make you feel’ or ‘What did you think about this? Is it educational? Too far? Supportive?’ So we’re asking the people who don’t like us to help make us better–as long as they have an intelligent reason for not liking what we do. If they just don’t like our name or vibe, we’re not concerned with pleasing them.”

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