By the Stand Up To Cancer Team
Stand Up to Cancer is the official beneficiary of Sweat It Forward. All donations from fitness studios and individuals will benefit Stand Up To Cancer.
Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) began with a group of women who wanted to bring the full spectrum of entertainment industry resources to bear in the fight against cancer. They shared the goal of getting everyone in the country committed, as they all are, to raising the awareness and funds necessary to end cancer’s reign as a leading cause of death. They set out to build a movement — the general public, philanthropists, companies, and other organizations — to support scientists attacking cancer, through a novel team approach.
SU2C was founded on the belief that now, more than ever, there is sufficient knowledge of the basic science of cancer, and that the technologies are finally available to translate this knowledge into real advances in treatment and prevention. Today's cancer scientists are making life-saving discoveries. But what they desperately need are the funds required to mount an all-out assault. Stand Up To Cancer is dedicated to providing this much-needed new source of cancer research funding.
The key players — Katie Couric, Sherry Lansing, Kathleen Lobb, Lisa Paulsen, Rusty Robertson, Sue Schwartz, Ellen Ziffren, and the late film producer Laura Ziskin — as well as Ziskin’s producing partner Pam Williams, came together to work on “Stand Up To Cancer” in the Fall of 2007. By the next spring, three major broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, and NBC) committed to donating an hour of airtime for a history-making fundraising special on September 5, 2008 to support cancer research.
The key leadership spoke with a group of scientists, with whom they had worked previously, about how money raised in connection with this show should be invested to accelerate the pace at which new treatments get to patients. Their guidance was straightforward: Fund teams of scientists from across different institutions and different disciplines, make the grants large enough that the teams have real prospects of accomplishing something significant, and hold the investigators accountable for delivering results that benefit patients within the three-year terms of the grants, which is considered light-speed in cancer research.
The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) came on board as SU2C’s scientific partner, and began to recruit the Scientific Advisory Committee that makes recommendations about which teams to fund, and assesses the teams’ progress through an extremely interactive review process. Phillip A. Sharp, Ph.D., a highly regarded Nobel laureate and professor at MIT’s Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, agreed to serve as Chair of the committee, and his participation proved to be a lightning rod for other influential scientists to get involved.
Stand Up To Cancer was formally launched as a program of the Entertainment Industry Foundation on May 28, 2008. The first Stand Up To Cancer roadblock fundraising event aired that fall on ABC, CBS, NBC, and E! The growth of SU2C, and the entertainment industry support in the few short years since then has been simply incredible: In 2014, the fourth SU2C fundraising telecast aired on 44 networks in the U.S. and Canada, and streamed live on Yahoo and Hulu, on September 5, 2014.
To date, SU2C has funded 13 Dream Teams, 2 Translational Research Teams, and 26 Innovative Research Grants (awarded to individual, early-career researchers whose high-risk, potentially high-reward projects would not have been likely to receive funding through traditional sources). These grant recipients total more than 825 researchers, representing 115 leading institutions around the world. Collectively, they are involved in over 120 planned, launched, or completed clinical trials, in which more than 5,200 patients have participated.
There is hope, there is forward motion, and we will Stand Up To Cancer!