image by: Public Domain
Stand Up To Cancer's objective is to unite the celebrities, researchers, and scientists that share a common goal: bringing new therapies to patients quickly and ultimately finding a cure for cancer
Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) the entertainment industry’s charitable initiative that supports groundbreaking cancer research, celebrated on September 8 the one-year anniversary of their star-studded fundraising event that aired simultaneously on CBS, NBC and ABC in 2008. That night, 50 of the most prominent personalities in television, film, sports and music came together along with millions of Americans and raised more than $100 million for translational cancer research.
The event featured celebrities such as Jennifer Aniston, Scarlett Johansson, Meryl Streep, David Cook, Christina Applegate, Lance Armstrong and Jack Black answering phone calls, telling personal accounts of their own battles with cancer, and performing for the audience.
The celebrity ambassadors for 2009 include Marcia Cross, Kirsten Dunst, Sally Field, Mandy Moore, Fran Drescher, Dana Delany, and Sharon Osbourne. They were chosen by the Entertainment Industry Foundation, a group of media, entertainment and philanthropic leaders, because each woman has been personally affected by cancer, has a recognizable name, a story to tell, and a reason to find a cure for cancer as soon as possible.
Fran Drescher, a uterine cancer survivor, wrote about her battle with the disease in her book, “Cancer Schmancer”. Marcia Cross’s husband, Tom Mahoney, is currently undergoing treatment for cancer and Sharon Osbourne is a colon cancer survivor.
SU2C’s Laura Ziskin says that celebrities are an integral part of their organization because they help focus attention on cancer and bring in the necessary dollars that fund research projects.
Ziskin says, “We are eternally grateful for the continuing support of the Hollywood community who have lent their time and talent to this cause, and have engaged the public to do the same. The entertainment industry has generously offered this initiative the most incredible resources and we want to make sure that they know all of their hard work is going toward something monumental”.
This week, Stand Up to Cancer and their celebrity ambassadors announced their five newest "Dream Teams". The Dream Team projects were chosen because they address some of the most critical and promising areas of cancer research today. Each team will share $73.6 million in grants over a three year period.
According to the SU2C website, “The research that will be done through the Dream Team projects could impact the diagnosis and treatment of a wide range of cancers in adults and children including, but not limited to pancreatic, breast, ovarian, cervical, uterine, brain, lung, prostate, rectal and colon, which represent two thirds of all U.S. cancer deaths”.
In addition, each team will have at least two members from patient advocacy groups to ensure that the perspective of the patients and survivors will be integrated into the research. SU2C firmly believes that there is now sufficient knowledge of the basic science of cancer and that technologies are available to fast track treatments for patients.
And remember, you don't have to be a researcher, a doctor, or a celebrity to keep yourself healthy, find treatment or, make a difference!
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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