Nov 13, 2020
By Thomas G. Roberts, Jr., MD, FASCO
The disruption the world felt by COVID-19 upended life as we knew it.
One day you were planning a new research project, a dinner out with friends, perhaps a trip to Chicago to meet up with several thousands of your colleagues and peers. The next day it wasn’t safe to see your patients in person.
We felt that interruption together, but I imagine a similar shock is felt personally every day when someone is diagnosed with cancer. COVID-19 taught us all what patients with cancer learn the moment they are diagnosed: Our plans can change in an instant.
This spring, ASCO and Conquer Cancer needed a backup plan to support patients and their care teams during an unexpected global health crisis. And donors helped us put that plan into action through the COVID Impacts Cancer fund. Nearly $7.5 million has been raised to:
- Power the ASCO Survey on COVID-19 in Oncology Registry, a data source for oncology professionals to guide cancer care during and after the pandemic
- Enable expert-guided response and resources for care teams addressing the rapidly evolving virus and public health situation
- Support Cancer.Net, which consistently provides updates for patients and caregivers seeking the latest coronavirus information
Even during a pandemic, Conquer Cancer donors remained generous and dedicated. In 2020, donors invested more than $8 million to fund more than 250 awards to oncologists and researchers around the world.
We can’t always prepare for years like this, but when we work together, we can still fulfill the needs of the communities we serve. Because even during the most trying times, hope remains.
It’s unlikely 2020 will be remembered by most as a good year, but I will always reflect on how our community united to conquer cancer. This holiday season, I am incredibly grateful for every gift of support our donors have offered, and I am optimistic about the challenges we’ll conquer together in 2021.
Dr. Roberts is the chair of the Conquer Cancer Board of Directors.
Share the joy of providing patients with cancer breakthrough treatments and cures. Donate to cancer research in honor or in memory of someone this holiday season. Make a tribute gift to Conquer Cancer, the ASCO Foundation on behalf of someone special to you and send an ecard to let them know of the promising cancer research that will be funded in their name. Make your gift today.