Together, We’re Taking Cancer Down

Together, We’re Taking Cancer Down

Guest Commentary

Jul 01, 2015

How you can help in The Campaign to Conquer Cancer

By Robert J. Mayer, MD, FASCO
Conquer Cancer Foundation Board of Directors Member
Co-Chair, The Campaign to Conquer Cancer

Dr. Charles Penley, the Conquer Cancer Foundation (CCF) Board of Directors Chair, threw out the first pitch in the Chicago Cubs baseball game at Wrigley Field on May 27, publicly launching our campaign to take down cancer. The Campaign to Conquer Cancer aims to raise $150 million by 2017 to advance cancer research, provide resources for patients and their families, support ASCO projects like CancerLinQ™, and assist other oncology quality initiatives around the world.

If you were in Chicago for the 2015 ASCO Annual Meeting, you probably saw skyscrapers shining orange into the night to raise awareness about the Campaign. It was hard to miss the banners flying above the Windy City’s busy streets showcasing our dream of a world free from the disease we’ve committed our lives to ending. Perhaps your name was scrolling on the CCF video wall inside McCormick Place at the ASCO Annual Meeting, among a long list of new donors who have joined our cause.

Desirée Rogers, honorary Campaign Co-Chair and a breast cancer survivor, told guests at the Campaign Kickoff Dinner how the relationship a patient with cancer forms with his or her oncologist is one of the most trusted and influential in their life.

While baseball games, banners, and dinners are a mainstream approach to promoting our efforts to people who did not attend Annual Meeting, the Campaign also needs the most credible players in the cancer community to continue sharing the impact CCF has already made on cancer care. That means you.

Dr. Thomas Roberts, my fellow Co-Chair, and I believe the most valuable Campaign resources are ASCO members and CCF grant recipients. No matter your role in this organization, you can play a vital part in The Campaign to Conquer Cancer through a few simple, but relevant, steps:

  • Tell your family, friends, colleagues, and patients about the Conquer Cancer Foundation. Although a record 30,418 industry professionals filled McCormick Place, most people outside the oncology community are unaware that in just 15 years CCF has provided more than $90 million to fund patient and caregiver education, train young oncologists, and support clinical research around the world. Let the people who turn to you for advice on science and health know CCF resources are at the core of cancer discoveries.
  • Engage with the Conquer Cancer Foundation on social media. “Like” our page on Facebook and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Encourage your staff to do the same. When you read an interesting post from CCF, share it with your own followers. Our potential to raise money increases with every new person who learns about our work.
  • Promote CCF in your offices. Cancer.Net, which is supported by the Foundation, is a remarkable resource for patients with cancer and caregivers. Provide information about The Campaign to Conquer Cancer and ASCO in your office to help patients find the resources they need. Free brochures and booklets will be sent to you when you sign up online.
  • Support brands that support CCF. Did you know that every time you order something from Amazon you can earn money for the Conquer Cancer Foundation? Sign up with Amazon, eBay, and a host of other retailers participating in charitable giving rewards for their shoppers. Learn more about the programs and start shopping for a cause.

Please join CCF as we extend the momentum the Campaign created in Chicago. As much as we need your donations to raise $150 million, we need your leadership and your voice even more.

Dr. Mayer is Faculty Vice President for Academic Affairs at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Senior Physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and the Stephen B. Kay Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, where he is also Faculty Associate Dean for Admissions. He directed the Institute’s Medical Oncology Fellowship Program for more than 30 years, overseeing the training of several hundred oncologists. Dr. Mayer’s research interests focus on gastrointestinal cancer, a subject about which he has published extensively. He has served as an Associate Editor for the New England Journal of Medicine and the Journal of Clinical Oncology, is a Past President of ASCO, and is a former member of the Executive Committee of the American Board of Internal Medicine. Dr. Mayer is a graduate of Williams College and the Harvard Medical School.

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