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Alex's Coupons
the web with Google


Why Coupons and Cancer?
Click here for a larger photoAlex's Coupons was started back in 1999 with just a few merchants as "Affiliates for Alex". It was started as a way to make a little money to help pay for our one year old daughter Alex's treatment for Acute Myelogenous Leukemia.

Click here for a larger photoAs time went on we started to think of what we would like the site to become. We wanted the site to be a place where people could come to save money, get educated about childhood cancer. We also wanted to be able to give back to the many childhood cancer organizations that had been helping us financially during Alex's treatment. This remained just a dream for a few years because we didn't have the time to devote to it. Then in  September 2001 we found ourselves with nothing but time, as our web design business took a turn for the worse.

Desperate to pay the bills, and wanting to make the most of the down time, we launched Alex's Coupons. From the beginning we were able to offer our visitors great stores, coupons to save them money and information on childhood cancer, but it was still just a little site that wasn't making enough money to allow us to donate to others.

By March 2005 income from the site had grown enough that we were able to make our first donation to charity, a $1000 donation to Starlight Starbright Children's Foundation. Then in November 2005 our real dream was finally realized when we started making monthly donations to various childhood cancer organizations. Our plan was to not only make the donation, but also  to educate our users about the organization that was receiving the money. Unfortunately the following month, Google dropped Alex's Coupons from their rankings. This happens without notice or provocation from time to time and is usually short lived, so even though the site was not making any money we continued to make the monthly donations. Unfortunately, after 9 months of being in Google's dog house we had to suspend our donations. We are still hopeful that this is temporary and that we will be able to resume this very important aspect of Alex's Coupons soon.

If you would like to read a more in-depth version about how Alex's Coupons came to be, you can check out the About Us page.

Todd & Andrea Martini


I added the Coupons section for four reasons:

  • To educate people, that might not be looking for Cancer Resources, to the growing number of Childhood Cancer cases over the past ten years particularly in California. Since 1973, the incidence of childhood cancer in California has increased nearly 11% while adult cancer has decreased nationwide. Each childhood cancer death results in an average of 60 years of life lost, compared to 15 per adult cancer death. About 12 percent of all male and 13 percent of all female deaths in children under age 15 are cancer-related, totaling over 13,000 years of lost life.1
  • To educate people about the insufficient funding for Childhood Cancer research. The present budget for Childhood Cancer is 1/5 that of the budget for Pediatric AIDS. Pediatric AIDS killed approximately 100 children in the United States in 1999. Childhood Cancer killed over 5000 children in 1999. Sadly, more than 60% of the American public knows little, if any, about pediatric cancer.2
  • To educate people about the fact that while we have made great strides in treating some Childhood Cancers (e.g. ALL - 78% survival rate), we have made less progress in treating others (e.g. AML - ~40% survival rate). More funding is needed to develop treatments for those with often fatal Cancers like AML and Neuroblastoma.
  • To help finance the site. While much of the setup work on this site was donated, including my own, there are still other costs involved in running a site of this size.
     
  • To generate income for my family. Over the last couple of years Alex's Coupons has become the primary source of income for my family.
     
  • To raise money for Cancer related charities. In October 2005 we began our Featured Charity of the Month program. Every month we feature a different charity on Alex's Coupons and encourage our visitors to find out more about that particular charity, and if possible make a donation. Until recently we also made a donation of at least $1000 to the Featured Charity using a portion of the profits from Alex's Coupons.

    Our most current donation on July 31, 2006 was ~50% of the net profits we earned in June 2006. Unfortunately we recently had to suspend our donation program because of a severe drop in our income. On December 27, 2005 Alex's Coupons was dropped from the Google rankings, which had a devastating effect on our income to say the least. Nevertheless, we continued to donate $1000 each month hoping that the drop off would be short lived as it always had been in the past. Unfortunately, 8 1/2 months later there has been no change and we have no way of knowing how much longer this will last. With this being the case, we have no choice but to suspend our monthly charitable donations. This has been a very hard decision for us, but one that has to be made as we are no longer making enough to meet our monthly expenses and our savings are rapidly being depleted.

    In May 2005 it became clear that Alex's Coupon's could no longer be a part time job. Given this, I had to make the decision to close down my web design business and devote all my time to making Alex's Coupon's a success. I'm very proud of everything that we've accomplished, especially the fact that we've donated over $9000 to charity this year. Hopefully our Google rankings will improve at some point and we'll be able to resume making our donations to charity. In the meantime I would really appreciate it if you would help get out the word about Alex's Coupons through social bookmarking sites (e.g. Stumbleupon, Digg.com, Del.icio.us, Furl.net, Blinklist.com); social networking sites (e.g. MySpace.com, Friendster.com); bulletin boards and forums; or even by just telling your friends and family about the site. If you have a website of your own please feel free to link to us. You can find instructions and banners at:

    http://www.alexscoupons.com/linkto.html

A few people have written to me asking how I can support charities that fund Cancer research since these studies often involve animal testing. I can assure you that these three charities do not fund animal research. Make a Wish and Corporate Angel Network are patient and family aid organizations who do not fund research at all. NCCS is on PETA's list of charities that do not fund animal research.

Revenue for this site is generated when you make purchases through the Coupon links on this site. Click on a link from our site and for each purchase we will receive a commission from the merchant. We only get credit if you click on a link from our site. If you do place an order send us an email and let us know. Affiliate links can be unreliable, so this will allow us to keep track of any unregistered commissions. Thanks for your support.

Some of you might say that Coupons & Cancer are an odd fit, but I believe the only way to make the public aware of the problem is to get the information out there. Providing information on Childhood Cancer to those who are looking for it is great, but it's a little like "preaching to the choir". The only way to really change things is to make people that aren't touched by Childhood Cancer understand how serious the problem is. Maybe then we can start to make a difference.

Todd Martini     

Update 9/14/06: Alex is now over 3 1/2 years post-2nd transplant and doing well. Visit Alex's Place for more information and updates.

References:

1
California Cancer Registry
2
The Foundation for the Children's Oncology Group