One Degree From Cancer

Ending this disease through American innovation

I’m very proud to be a Stand Up to Cancer ambassador. Recently, along with my friends Pierce Bronson and Kareem Abdul Jabar, we joined the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network to launch the One Degree campaign to restore and sustain federal funding for cancer research.

I have been one degree away from cancer for most of my adult life. My husband was diagnosed with throat cancer shortly after our twin daughters were born. I wake up every morning grateful that he has been cancer-free for five years now. Earlier in my life, I lost a dear love to a brain tumor. I’ve had several friends go through breast cancer, a cousin with colon cancer, my grandfather had skin cancer, and one of my oldest friends just finished treatment for Ovarian cancer and over the last several months, I’ve watched another friend, Molly Weber, make the proactive decision to undergo a double mastectomy after testing positive for a genetic mutation for breast cancer. And I know that my experience is not unique. EVERY American knows someone struggling with this disease: A spouse. A daughter. A son. A mother. A father. A best friend.

Members of Congress face a choice on this issue and the American people are counting on you. Republicans, Democrats, and Independents all want to bring an end to this disease, and we all want to see American innovation lead the charge. We are witnessing incredible advances, whether in personalized medicine, immunotherapy, or our understanding of the genetic makeup of a cancer cell. There are now nearly 15 million cancer survivors in this country. Over the past decade, early detection tools and better treatments have helped increase those survival rates. In fact because of these advances, my friend Molly will most likely not get breast cancer- unlike her mother, aunt and grandmother. But we must keep our foot on the gas pedal. We are one degree away from making everyone diagnosed with cancer a long-term survivor.

On behalf of Molly, my husband Tom, Jackie, Laura, Richard, Rosemary, Ian and anyone anywhere struggling with cancer or supporting someone who is, I am asking Congress to restore and sustain Federal funding for cancer research.

We are one degree away from saving lives and ending cancer’s reign as a leading cause of death. Fund this research so our mothers, fathers, husbands, wives and all of us, will never have to fear the words “YOU HAVE CANCER.”

Remarks delivered March 17, 2015 at the One Degree launch event
in Washington, D.C.

Share your One Degree — someone you know who’s had cancer — and we’ll assemble them all in a massive petition asking Congress to increase cancer research funding by $1 billion. To learn more about this project and sign the petition, visit: