Every day cancer kills nearly 1,900 people in the United States and Canada alone. This is, on average, more than one person every minute. And while there are many new and better diagnostic and treatment options today than a decade ago, with more than 100 different types of cancer, each characterized by abnormal cell growth, the disease remains dreaded and feared.
Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C), a division of the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF), was founded in 2008 by media and entertainment leaders who used their resources to engage the public in supporting a new, collaborative model of cancer research, to increase awareness about cancer prevention and to highlight progress being made in the fight against the disease. The founders of the organization were convinced that the war against cancer, which started with the signing of the National Cancer Act on December 23, 1971 by President Richard Nixon, was at a tipping point.
Based on breakthroughs made in the understanding of the basic science and the biology of cancer, as well as technological advances enabling this increased understanding to be translated into new treatments, these founders strongly believed that cancer research was indeed at a pivotal juncture where transformative progress would ultimately help cancer patients.
But they also understood that cancer researchers needed additional funding to fulfill the promise of the development of these life-saving discoveries. And that’s where Stand Up To Cancer engaged in securing public support for the work of cancer research in the United States and around the world.
Over the last decade, this unique initiative has shown impressive results.
To date, more than US $ 603 million has been pledged in support of SU2C’s innovative cancer research programs. The result is that, as of April 2018, more than 1,500 scientist, from different disciplines and representing more than 180 institutions, work collaboratively in SU2C-funded research projects.
Emphasis on collaborative, multidisciplinary teams approach that delivers new therapies and treatments to cancer patients is at the heart of the SU2C-sponsored methodology. It encourages investigators to work together as part of one of the many Stand Up To Cancer’s signature Dream Teams.
These Dream Team are scientific task forces in which top scientists at different institutions and with different areas of expertise come together to develop new, improved, and creative ways to fight cancer. They do that by pooling their knowledge and their resources, eliminating barriers and breaks down the traditional silos that in the past have often kept scientists from working together.
This distinctive approach has helped scientists make progress faster and move therapies and treatments from the laboratory to the clinic in less time than before.
SU2C-funded researchers have planned, launched or completed more than 180 clinical trials involving over 12,000 patients. And collectively, work by these SU2C-scientists has contributed to the approval by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of five new cancer treatments.
“SU2C has had a significant impact on the public, shining a new light on an old problem and engaging people from all walks of life in helping the scientists working on accelerating the pace of getting better and more effective treatments to patients,” said Phillip A. Sharp, PhD, Nobel laureate (1993), Member, MIT Department of Biology and Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research and chair of the SU2C Scientific Advisory Committee.
“From the philanthropists, companies or organizations who can make US $10 million gifts to individuals who can donate US $10, there is a renewed sense that, together, we can win this fight,” Sharp noted.
The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) is the scientific partner of Stand Up To Cancer. This organization not only ensures the accuracy of the scientific content presented during the annual fundraising telecast, but also reviews applications for grants funded jointly by SU2C and partner organizations.
“The AACR has been the proud scientific partner of Stand Up To Cancer since its inception in 2008,” noted Margaret Foti, Ph.D., M.D., chief executive officer of the AACR.
“In this vital role, we have provided valuable expertise and scientific oversight of grants that have included some of the world’s top cancer researchers who have created lifesaving advances for cancer patients,” she further noted.
“The … scientists who conduct Stand Up’s research, the members of our Scientific Advisory Committee who guide that work, and the team at the American Association for Cancer Research that oversees the grants – they are our heroes. [And each year we’re] delighted to showcase how what they’re doing benefits people struggling with cancer…,” said Kathleen Lobb, a member of the Stand Up To Cancer Council of Founders and Advisors.
Innovative model of research
“We deeply appreciate that our donors embrace SU2C’s innovative model of research, fostering collaboration across institutional lines and encouraging scientists from different disciplines to work side-by-side,” noted Sung Poblete, Ph.D., R.N., president and CEO of SU2C.
“We’re proud of the meaningful advances our research teams are making for patients, and so grateful to individual and major donors alike,” Poblete emphasized.
2018 fundraising telecast
Last Friday, on September 7, 2018, the entertainment industry, corporate and organizational donors, non-profit collaborators, philanthropists, and general public joined forces again to raise funds for cancer research.
The sixth biennial one-hour “Roadblock” fundraising telecast of Stand Up to Cancer (SU2C) aired live from The Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, CA. This historic studio space, known for premier venues for charity, corporate and private events as well as video and film shoots, featured a large main stage with Stand Up To Cancer’s animated graphics, brand colors and other touchpoints layered into every facet of the set and design.
At several points during the show, which featured powerful musical performances and inspiring patient stories showcasing 10 years of impact in cancer research and the significant progress being made in the fight against cancer, the cameras brought viewers to a “backstage hub” where celebrities answered donor phone calls and interacted with the public via social media channels Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
First Digital Live Show
The program aired on more than 70 broadcast and cable networks and streaming and social platforms, all of which donated one hour of simultaneous commercial-free prime-time for the entire SU2C telecast.
Co-executive-produced by Academy Award-nominated actor Bradley Cooper and executive producers David Jammy and Katy Mullanat at Done + Dusted, along with Madeline Marotto, Stand Up To Cancer Co-Founders Lisa Paulsen and Pamela Oas Williams, and Bedonna Smith of Anonymous Content, this edition of the SU2C telecast marks 10 years of life-saving impact for SU2C.
This year, for the first time ever, the show was preceded by a digital live show “It’s #Up2Us: Stand Up To Cancer | The Digital Live Show” in which social media platforms Facebook, Twitter and YouTube united for a one-hour standalone digital show.
The digital live show, co-hosted by Max Greenfield (“New Girl,” “The Neighborhood”), actor Tyler Posey (“Teen Wolf,” “Scream: The TV Series”), and actress Brenda Song (“The Social Network,” “Station 19”), as well influencers and stars across the world of entertainment who rallied the next generation of supporters through themes of hope, courage, and strength, was also featured across iHeartMedia’s multiple social platforms.
Instagram and Snapchat supported the proactive initiative with complementary content and stories directly tied to the fundraising campaign
The key message of the digital live show: “It is #Up2Us to Stand Up To Cancer.”
Today, a few days after the live broadcast, Stand Up To Cancer announced that, so far, more than $123.6 million had been pledged collectively in connection with the fundraising telecast in the United States and Canada.
These funds will be directed to collaborative research programs, utilizing SU2C’s scientific oversight in both the United States and Canada.
“… with more than $123.6 million pledged, this was our best-ever fundraising special…”
“Having more than 70 broadcast and cable networks and streaming and social platforms donate the time to air the show is record-breaking for SU2C, and we are profoundly grateful for their commitment,” said Sherry Lansing, a member of the Stand Up To Cancer Council of Founders and Advisors and member and past chairperson of the board of directors of the Entertainment Industry Foundation.
“This was our best-ever fundraising special. The more than $123.6 million pledged will support extraordinary new research programs that will save lives,” Lansing observed.
The live show this year was SU2C’s sixth biennial fundraising telecast since the organization launched in 2008 and marks ten years of impact in the fight against cancer. Similar to the Digital Live Show, the telecast featured a stellar cast of celebrated figures from the worlds of entertainment, music, sports, and science, as well as a number of cancer survivors who have benefited from SU2C-supported research.
Make the impossible, possible…
Bradley Cooper, the co-executive-produced of the 2018 telecast, has a personal connection with cancer. He lost his father, Charles Cooper, to lung cancer in 2011.
“Progress for patients is what Stand Up To Cancer is all about, and I find the research advancements and how they are helping people with cancer to be absolutely stunning,” Cooper said.
“SU2C’s scientists have begun to make the impossible, possible… to give patients new hope that they can become long-term survivors. In my role as a co-executive producer of the telecast, I’m honored to be part of the team making the public aware of how their contributions are changing – and saving – lives,” he underscored.
The telecast’s three musical performances included a medley by 25-time GRAMMY Award® winner and activist Stevie Wonder, who performed “What The World Needs Now Is Love” and “Love’s In Need Of Love Today” in a special tribute to Aretha Franklin, who died in August 2018 from pancreatic cancer; a rendition of “With a Little Help From My Friends” by Little Big Town; and 11-time Grammy®-nominee and cancer survivor Charlie Wilson, who performed Diane Warren and Common’s “Stand Up For Something” with the a capella quartet, 4th Ave.
“We are so grateful to the incredible array of people who contributed their time and talent to make the show a huge success,” said the telecast Executive Producer Lisa Paulsen, who is also a member of the Stand Up To Cancer Council of Founders and Advisors.
“Over these past 10 years, more than 800 celebrities have helped us convey what a hopeful moment this is in cancer research, and we are so thankful for their support,” Paulsen added.
“After a wonderfully successful show two years ago, we’re honored to partner again with such a talented team to raise awareness and funds for this important cause,” said Hamish Hamilton, executive producer at Done + Dusted and director of the telecast.
“We’re constantly inspired by the remarkable work of Stand Up To Cancer, so we are thrilled to continue our relationship with SU2C,” Hamilton added.
One of the unique features of SU2C’s fundraising telecast is that 100% of the donations received from the general public in connection with the program go directly to cancer research. This is possible because the organization has received separate funding to support all administrative expenses.
Much more work ahead
“All of us at Stand Up To Cancer are proud of our ten years of impact in the fight against cancer, and tremendously gratified by the response we received to the telecast and its hopeful message,” said Sue Schwartz, a member of the Stand Up To Cancer Council of Founders and Advisors and Co-Founder of the Robertson Schwartz Agency. Schwartz spent her career in leadership positions with Fortune 500 companies, where she held senior and executive vice president posts including positions at Revlon, Almay Cosmetics, and HSN.
“While we are thrilled with all of the wonderful advances in new treatment benefits to patients, we are mindful of just how much more work there is to do until we accomplish our ultimate goal of turning every cancer patient into a long-term survivor,” Schwartz concluded.
Last Editorial Review: September 9, 2018
Current members of the SU2C Council of Founders and Advisors workin as ambassadors include Katie Couric, Sherry Lansing, Kathleen Lobb, Lisa Paulsen, Rusty Robertson, Sue Schwartz, Pamela Oas Williams, and Ellen Ziffren. The late Laura Ziskin and the late Noreen Fraser are also co-founders. Sung Poblete, Ph.D., R.N., serves as SU2C’s president and CEO.
Featured Image: The 2018 telecast aired live from The Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, CA. Courtesy: © 2010 – 2018 Sunvalley Communication / Evan Wendt. Used with permission. Photo 1.0: Opening the 2018 Stand Up To Cancer Telecast – Matt Damon speaks onstage at the sixth biennial Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) telecast at the Barkar Hangar on Friday, September 7, 2018 in Santa Monica, California. Courtesy: Sunvalley Communication / Evan Wendt. Used with permission. Photo 2.0: Max Greenfield, co-host of the first ever digital live show “It’s #Up2Us: Stand Up To Cancer” in which social media platforms Facebook, Twitter and YouTube united for a one-hour standalone digital show. Courtesy: The ABC Television Network/ABC/Image Group LA. Used with permission. Photo 3.0: Katie Couric at the sixth biennial Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) telecast at the Barkar Hangar on Friday, September 7, 2018 in Santa Monica, California. Courtesy: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Stand Up To Cancer via ABC. Used with permission.
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