Friday, January 12, 2007
"War on cancer" continues
Over the past several days, I have been consumed by stories on cancer, your stories. So many of you shared them on this blog. One of our very first posts was from Julianne, in Virginia Beach, Virginia. It is so emblematic of how far we have come. Many years ago, while she was pregnant, she learned she had cervical cancer and had to undergo a radical hysterectomy. She lost her baby. Wrenching. But recently, her own 9-year-old daughter was able to receive the cervical cancer vaccine and be protected. I am sure Julianne wanted to make sure her own daughter would never suffer the same heartbreak and tragedy. Brava, Julianne. Other posters Javier Diaz and Vicki Childers reminded us that simply getting screened is not as easy as it sounds. They want to do the right thing, but simply cannot afford it. Vicki instead keeps her fingers crossed.
There were so many posts suggesting that our money would be better spent on fighting cancer than a war in Iraq. Lee in Atlanta, Georgia, didn't agree, admonishing us to take a course in economics. Nick from Telluride, Colorado, took issue with the use of military metaphors. Of course Nick, it was a former president who first declared "war" on cancer: Richard Nixon, in 1971. And, surely the head of many major cancer institutions, including the National Cancer Institute, have followed suit. Peg, in Saratoga Springs, New York, reminded us that cancer can "put up a helluva fight" as she described her own "battle." Geri, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, told us to light a torch for pediatric cancer and Andy from North Ireland pleaded for us to point out that cancer is truly a global struggle. Of course, he is right: Cancer does not respect any boundaries, and no one is immune.
Lance Armstrong and I spoke on the phone last night. Judging from the flood of calls and e-mails to his foundation and to CNN, we know something has happened here. Cancer, something people don't typically speak about in polite conversation, came flooding out. People are so eager to share their stories. Eager to soak up as much knowledge as possible about this disease they call the beast. The stories and the courage are so inspiring. Now it's time to plan the next step. This is where you come in. How do we keep the focus and interest on cancer? Many of you talked about wanting to help. What do you have in mind and how can organizations like CNN and the Livestrong Foundation better do their job? We want to hear from you.
Don't forget to watch Saving Your Life, Saturday and Sunday at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. E.T.
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