As I sit here tonight watching the “Stand Up To Cancer” television show, I find myself admiring the quality of the effort that went into this program.
The producers and the entertainers have certainly tugged at my heartstrings, and I suspect they have done so for many, many people throughout the country as well. This is, in a simple phrase, a smashing success.
The combination of real life stories with the promise of research progress is always compelling. We have all suffered losses through the impact of cancer in our families and our lives, and we all hold out the hope that one day the words “you have cancer” will no longer be heard by anyone anywhere.
There is no doubt that we have much to learn about cancer and how to treat it. There is also no doubt that we have made considerable progress in cancer research and cancer treatment over the past number of years. We have treatments today that were dreams only a couple of years ago.
All of this does take money, and that money is becoming harder to come by. If this show helps raise awareness and funds, then that’s a good thing.
Funding cancer research is more than a one night event. It is a continuous, difficult process. It involves petitioning governments, philanthropies and everyday people to join the cause.
Our hope is that there will one day be a breakthrough that will answer the puzzle that cancer represents. My sense is that it is going to be more complicated than any of us can anticipate.
Even today there was an article talking about new genetic research that shows us information about some uncommon but frequently fatal cancer. The researchers noted that as we learn more about the genetics of cancer we find it more complicated than we anticipated. Hoping for a single gene that controlled the cancer, we now find that there are multiple genes that can be altered, any of which can hold the key to a future treatment success.
Will this show and the money it will raise be the key to a future success in cancer research? Perhaps.
But I can’t get out of my mind that there are many people and many organizations that have made commitments to raising money for cancer research, and will continue to do so. Their efforts have led to incredibly important successes. The journey continues.
This fight is not about any one organization or any one particular effort. It is the combined work of all of us that we will one day lead us to success in our battle to beat this disease.