ABC, CBS, NBC Announce Historic Collaboration to 'Stand Up To Cancer'
Stars from film, television, sports, journalism and music come together
for September 5th prime time television event to raise funds for cancer
NEW YORK and LOS ANGELES, May 27 -- Stand Up To
Cancer (http://www.standup2cancer.org), a new initiative to raise philanthropic
dollars for accelerating ground-breaking research, will launch tomorrow
through an unprecedented collaboration uniting the major television
networks, entertainment industry executives, celebrities and prominent
leaders in cancer research and patient advocacy. ABC, CBS and NBC will
donate one hour of simultaneous commercial-free primetime for a nationally
televised fundraising event to air on September 5, 2008 (8 pm EDT and PDT),
aimed at rallying the public around the goal of ending cancer's reign as a
leading cause of death.
Network evening news anchors Charles Gibson, Katie Couric and Brian
Williams will announce the initiative together during live appearances
tomorrow on ABC's "Good Morning America," CBS's "The Early Show," and NBC's
"For people struggling with this disease, or those who will be
diagnosed, scientific breakthroughs can be a matter of life or death --
literally. We want everyone to know that they can make a difference in this
fight," said Couric. "Television is a notoriously competitive business. For
the three major broadcast networks to join forces is a wonderful example of
the power of working together, and we're very grateful to have the
opportunity to reach people all over the country through this show."
"As a motion picture and television producer, I've learned how
incredibly powerful these mediums can be in generating public discourse,
sometimes almost overnight. Our goal with this initiative and TV show is to
'tip' the conversation in this country about cancer - to get people riled
up, so they want to do something about the fact that it still takes so many
lives," said Laura Ziskin, who will produce the September 5th broadcast.
Ziskin is a cancer survivor. Her film credits include the Spider-Man
trilogy, As Good As It Gets, and Pretty Woman, and she also produced the
74th and 79th Annual Academy Awards.
The Stand Up To Cancer special will feature live performances by
legendary recording artists and stars from film and television who will
perform as well as present filmed content giving viewers insight into
cancer. Various screening tests will be demonstrated in novel and
entertaining ways. "Katie, Charlie and Brian will report on potentially
life-saving research, speaking with both patients and scientists. We hope
to entertain you, educate you, move and inspire you," Ziskin said.
Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) is a program of the Entertainment Industry
Foundation (EIF), a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, and was established
by a group of media, entertainment and philanthropic leaders, whose lives
have all been affected by cancer in significant ways. Stand Up To Cancer is
bringing industry resources -- people, as well as mediums such as
television and the web -- to bear in the fight against cancer as never
The SU2C leadership team includes Katie Couric; the Entertainment
Industry Foundation, represented by Board of Directors Chairperson Sherry
Lansing (who is Founder of the Sherry Lansing Foundation) and CEO Lisa
Paulsen; Laura Ziskin; the Noreen Fraser Foundation and its executives
Noreen Fraser (who is also a cancer survivor), Woody Fraser, Rusty
Robertson and Sue Schwartz; and nonprofit executive Ellen Ziffren.
"The statistics are staggering," Gibson said. "Cancer claims one person
every minute of every day in the United States. Every year in this country,
it takes the lives of more than half a million people...worldwide, cancer
kills more than six million people annually. There has been progress on
both the research and awareness fronts; as a result, there are over ten
million cancer survivors in the US today. More work urgently needs to be
done so that more people will survive," he said.
"Not only has cancer touched all of our media organizations in profound
ways, but it has touched each of us personally. This extraordinary
broadcast will serve a number of purposes - we'll share vital information
with our viewers and hopefully raise funds that are so critical in the
fight against this insidious disease," said Williams.
New developments in the laboratory are revealing the way cancer begins,
progresses and spreads. Stand Up To Cancer is 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 on the verge of 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.
Co-Chair of the Disney Media Networks and President of the Disney-ABC
Television Group Anne Sweeney, CBS Corporation President and Chief
Executive Officer Leslie Moonves, and NBC Universal President and Chief
Executive Officer Jeff Zucker commented on their companies' decisions to
"Everyone in our country has been touched by cancer in some way, shape
or form. The thought that we could, in one hour of television, make a true
difference in the fight against this disease was both exciting and
inspiring," Sweeney said.
"Television is a uniquely powerful medium and the networks joining
forces offer an unparalleled opportunity to communicate loud and clear that
we all have a stake in the fight against cancer," said Moonves. "Through
the unity of broadcasters, entertainers and cancer groups alike, and the
giving spirit of the audience at home, this television event has the
potential to make a profound impact on our society's ability to understand
and battle this terrible disease."
"We've gone to the moon and pioneered a technology that revolutionized
the way the world communicates. Applying that same innovation and
commitment, scientists are on the cusp of making enormous strides in their
efforts to combat cancer, but they need additional funding to do that.
Through Stand Up To Cancer, and the September 5th broadcast, people all
over the country can help," said Zucker, who is a cancer survivor.
AN INNOVATIVE RESEARCH MODEL
Stand Up To Cancer's innovative approach to research is designed to
eliminate barriers that have traditionally inhibited creativity and
collaboration by enabling the best and brightest investigators from leading
institutions across the country and internationally to work together. These
collaborative "Dream Teams" will pursue the most promising research,
accelerating the discovery of new therapies for cancer patients and
advancing efforts in cancer prevention research. Stand Up To Cancer monies
will also be used for some high-risk, high-impact cancer research
proposals, which are often not supported by conventional funding sources.
The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) will conduct expert
scientific review of the research projects and administer funds raised
through the initiative under the direction of a Scientific Advisory
Committee. Nobel Laureate Phillip A. Sharp, Ph.D., Institute Professor at
the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the David H. Koch Institute
for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT chairs the Committee, which includes
highly accomplished clinical investigators, senior laboratory researchers
and physician-scientists. "This project has tremendous potential to change
the face of cancer research," said Sharp. "Our goal is to rapidly move new
research discoveries out of the lab and into the clinic to save lives from
"I am pleased that AACR is a partner in the Stand Up To Cancer
initiative," said Raymond N. DuBois, M.D., Ph.D., AACR President and
Provost and Executive Vice President at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. "The
Stand Up To Cancer model is distinctive because it emphasizes collaboration
among scientists and will accelerate translational research on the verge of
breakthroughs as well as provide an additional revenue stream to encourage
novel, high-risk proposals that have great potential in making inroads
A Stand Up To Cancer Advocate Advisory Council is being formed, and
will include leaders from approximately 25 organizations. Additionally,
representatives from the advocacy community will work side-by-side with the
scientists on the "Dream Teams," so the perspectives of the patients and
survivors they represent will be integrated into the direction of the
In addition to the nationally televised network fundraising event,
other key elements of the initiative include:
-- Standup2cancer.org -- With both interactive applications and rich
content, the SU2C web site will foster an online community for everyone
affected by cancer, utilizing the same approach as the televised special:
it will move, educate and even entertain users. Features include: The
Constellation: For a dollar donation or more, users can launch a star in
honor of anyone who has received a cancer diagnosis. The Stand: An
interactive facebook application to illustrate that the 'cancer community'
encompasses everyone and that we are all connected by this disease. SUTV:
Features video segments rich in scientific and research information, as
well as ones that confront the personal and human side of cancer's impact.
SU2C Magazine: Offers seven sections of diverse content written by leading
voices in every field.
-- Public Service Announcement (PSA) Campaign - A series of TV, radio
and print PSAs featuring celebrities and members of the general public to
mobilize support for the campaign will begin to air and appear in
"I have lost beloved family members and friends to this dreaded
disease," said Sherry Lansing. "Sometimes I feel as if cancer is an
epidemic that will never end. But then I am reminded of diseases such as
tuberculosis, small pox and polio that used to cause fear... and then I
know that just like those other diseases, cancer can and will be defeated,
Major League Baseball was the first donor to contribute to Stand Up To
Cancer. "This initiative has presented an historic and unique plan to fight
this deadly disease, and it is a privilege for me and Major League Baseball
to join this magnificent effort," said Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud)
Selig. "We have pledged many of our valuable resources in an attempt to
assist in every way we can."
Many other leading organizations have joined in supporting its mission,
including AARP, Alliance for Global Good, AOL, Conde Nast Media Group, Def
Jam Recordings, Lee Jeans, The Paley Center for Media, Philips, Playphone,
Revlon, Ronald Perelman, Saks Fifth Avenue, Stonyfield Farm, and Steve
Tisch, as well as media partners Hearst Magazines, Los Angeles Times, The
Meredith Publishing Group, The New York Times and Time Inc.
Cancer advocacy and support groups collaborating with Stand Up To
Cancer include: The Lance Armstrong Foundation, American Cancer Society
Cancer Action Network, Breastcancer.org, C-Change, CancerCare, Colon Cancer
Alliance, C3: Colorectal Cancer Coalition, Friends of Cancer Research,
Intercultural Cancer Council, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Lung Cancer
Alliance, The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation, National Breast Cancer
Coalition, National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship, Pancreatic Cancer
Action Network, The Prostate Cancer Foundation, Susan G. Komen for the
Cure, The Wellness Community and others.
The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) is the oldest and
largest scientific organization in the world focusing on every aspect of
high-quality, innovative cancer research. Its reputation for scientific
breadth and excellence attracts the premier researchers in the field. By
accelerating the growth and spread of new knowledge about cancer, the AACR
is on the front lines in the quest for the prevention and cure of cancer.
About the Entertainment Industry Foundation
The Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF), as a leading charitable
organization of the entertainment industry, has distributed hundreds of
millions of dollars to support programs addressing critical health,
education and social issues.
About the Noreen Fraser Foundation
The Noreen Fraser Foundation utilizes film, television and web
technologies to raise money as well as to educate and raise awareness about
women's cancers. The funds raised will be used to provide large grants to
uniquely qualified cancer researchers.
SOURCE Stand Up To Cancer