Stand up to Cancer

There’s been some talk and now it is official. ABC, CBS and NBC will donate one hour of simultaneous commercial-free prime time 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.

I’m not quite sure how this is going to work. It sounds like a cross between a telethon and a series of public service announcements but with the heavyweights behind this I don’t know how it could not be helpful. I do hope that they block that same hour on all of the additional stations they control (like during 9/11).

And I do love the bit about this starting when a TV producer (Noreen Fraser) met a movie producer (Laura Ziskin) across the chemo room and asked for an introduction.

“The idea of setting aside an hour of prime time to raise money for cancer had its origins in the efforts of several different groups of people, including those working in television and in the film community in Hollywood.

Mr. Zucker said in an interview that it was an idea that he and Ms. Couric had discussed before she left NBC.

“I think we both thought it was a good idea,” he said. “When she moved over to CBS, she talked about it with some folks over there.” Among them was Leslie Moonves, the president of CBS.

Meanwhile, around the same time, a fortunate thing happened in the chemotherapy room of a Los Angeles doctor: Noreen Fraser, a television producer, spied Laura Ziskin, a movie producer. Both were receiving treatment for breast cancer, and Ms. Fraser later asked the doctor to make an introduction.

When they eventually spoke, Ms. Fraser, who also helps lead a foundation dedicated to raising money for women’s cancers, floated the notion of a cable TV special, said Ms. Ziskin, whose many producing credits include the “Spider-man” series, “Pretty Woman” and “As Good as It Gets.” “I wanted a bigger platform,” said Ms. Ziskin, who, inspired by Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth,” thought she might make a documentary.

“I am a person living with cancer,” Ms. Ziskin said, “and I’m frustrated by the pace of new therapies to save my live and other people’s lives.” via:

The website for the project is up at

3 Responses

  1. Before you sit down and right your check to this “Stand up to Cancer” initiative, think about this…Cancer research is already supported by BILLIONS of tax dollars every year. The National Cancer Institute alone gets over $5 Billion dollars a year. And at the same time, when the academic, biomedical industry and pharmaceutical industry keep pushing for more expensive high tech solutions to cure disease, they do not advocate the basic needs of the American people. They are not supporting effective healthcare reforms that can save lives and prevent cancer. They have allowed our environmental laws to slacken which increases the rate of cancer. They promote dangerous high tech biological research in this country without any safety oversight to ensure public health and safety.

    Stop giving your hard earned money to these money making large non-profit organizations and biomedical institutions until you see them TAKE ACTION with results to FIX our failed healthcare system, INCREASE environmental protection and place EFFECTIVE OVERSIGHT over biological labs that are performing dangerous basic research throughout this country. We first have to have a system in place to prevent cancer. Then we can build an effective system to cure it.

    Don’t fall prey to this sympathy “Stand up for Cancer” gimmick. You are wasting your money. Instead, how about throwing a fund raising party to fix our failed medical system? Would not that make more sense?

  2. Personally, I’m not sending a dime until I learn a whole lot more about this. I agree that you’ve got some great points and thanks for commenting.

  3. They have their funding model and mission statement on the website as well as a critique of the current public system that funds only 20 percent of grant proposals and whose funding has been decreased under the Bush administration. The NCI can spend all the money it wants. That does not mean they spend it correctly. Katbur is right to want to investigate. Watchdogscience is more intent on contempt prior to investigation than actual conversation about this. As one of the articles says, a plan has been put in place to shift the way the research has done.

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