Stand Up To Cancer

Sep 8, 2010 | Stacy Matson | Celebrity Health

Stand Up To Cancer is a populist movement. People of all ages are getting involved. Not only people who have cancer or who are dealing with it, but young people who want a cancer-free world in their future and we really think that's finally attainable - Katie Couric

Meredith Vieira and Matt Lauer speak with the three journalists--Williams, Couric, and Gibson--on NBC's TODAY show.Kathleen Turner

Are you frustrated with the lack of progress in cancer research? Do you get tired of hearing about someone dying or being diagnosed with cancer almost daily? Have you lost someone to cancer? Do you wish there was something you could do to help? Well, you can and possibly alongside one of your favorite celebrities.

Stand Up To Cancer, a history-making event the first time around, is once again taking over the airwaves. And with the help of dozens of actors, musicians, and athletes they hope to make this the biggest cancer-fighting television event yet.  Pretty high expectations because the 2008 telethon raised over $100 million and was viewed in more than 170 countries. 

The Stand Up To Cancer telethon/variety show airs on September 10 at 8pm/7pm Central on ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, Biography Channel, Discovery Health, E!, G4, HBO, HBO Latino, MLB Network, Mun2, Showtime , Smithsonian Networks, The Style Network, TVOne, and VH1. The broadcast is dedicated to the 11 million cancer survivors in the United States and will highlight groundbreaking research and therapies.  

The 2-hour special will be co-hosted by Katie Couric, Diane Sawyer, and Brian Williams.  Couric, whose husband died of colon cancer, is doing everything she can to fight back and spare others the same pain.  Couric says, “Stand Up To Cancer is a populist movement.  People of all ages are getting involved. Not only people who have cancer or who are dealing with it, but young people who want a cancer-free world in their future and we really think that's finally attainable.” Adds Sawyer, “The broadcast is a way of saying, ‘Together, we can do this.’ And yes, we're losing one person every minute, but 11 million survivors are out there; living proof that this can be done.”

Many of the celebrities offering their name are themselves cancer survivors: Christina Applegate, Lance Armstrong, Fran Drescher, Elizabeth Edwards, Michael C. Hall, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Sharon Osbourne, Robin Roberts, Maura Tierney, Sofia Vergara, Marissa Jaret Winokur and Ethan Zohn.  Other A-list celebrities lending support are George Clooney, Will Smith, Denzel Washington, Renée Zellweger and Gwyneth Paltrow, not cancer survivors themselves, but all affected by the disease.  Musical guests scheduled to perform include Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day, Neil Diamond, The Edge of U2, Delta Goodrem, Herbie Hancock, Kris Kristofferson, Lady Antebellum, Leona Lewis, Orianthi, and Ann Wilson and Nancy Wilson of Heart. 

But, possibly the most surprising and inspirational celebrity to announce his attendance, is Michael Douglas.  Yep, Michael Douglas! Following his throat cancer diagnosis, and in the midst of chemotherapy and radiation treatments, Michael Douglas is still ready, willing and able to “Stand Up” to cancer.   

SU2C is a unique organization with a unique strategy. They bring together the best and the brightest in the cancer community, and encourage collaboration instead of competition. Following this model SU2C is able to accelerate cancer research, fund innovative science and scientists, and get groundbreaking treatment to patients faster.  Also, one hundred percent of all SU2C donations go directly to cancer research. During the September 10th telethon viewers will have the ability to donate live by phone, the web, or text message. So, Give! Give! Give!  

In a message from Laura Ziskin, SU2C co-founder, executive producer, and cancer survivor, “We want people all over the country to rise up and say, ‘ENOUGH!’ And on September 10th, we will send a resounding message: we can cure cancer. It’s going to take guts, brains, and the ongoing support of the public, but we can do this. We want to inspire our viewers with the results the SU2C researchers have achieved to date and rally them to continue to contribute to bring us closer to that goal. No donation is too small – every single person can play a role in helping the scientists who are working 24/7 to end cancer.”  

Cancer statistics are grim to say the least.  It is the second leading cause of death in the United States just behind heart disease. The American Cancer Society in 2010 estimated that 1,529,560 new cancer cases will be diagnosed and 569,490, (1,500 per day or 1 every minute) will die.  Discouraging? Yes. But, does it make you want to Stand Up 2 Cancer?  Me too. 

Stacy Matson is a health enthusiast from Southern California and regularly blogs on Celebrity Health for A Healthier World, as well as contributing to the Best of the Best.

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