Katie Couric knows firsthand what it’s like to lose a loved one to cancer. Couric’s husband died of colon cancer in 1998 and since then, the journalist has put her energy behind raising awareness and much-needed funds for life-saving cancer research. A star-studded third annual Stand Up To Cancer telethon was held Friday, Sept. 7, and broadcast on most major TV channels. Watch Couric discuss her work with Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C), plus how you can help make a difference:
With the money for cancer research declining in recent years, it’s more important than ever to raise funds so the brilliant scientists working in this field can make more headway, Couric says.
“I realized I had this platform with ‘The Today Show’ and I wanted to increase awareness,” she said of her initial involvement with SU2C. “I had been given so much in terms of professional opportunities that I wanted to increase awareness.”
Started by nine women who had access to high-profile networks of people, SU2C enlisted actors like George Clooney to lend their names to the cause. And so far, they have raised $180 million to donate to scientist “dream teams,” some of which have out-of-the-box ideas that may not receive traditional funding, but could really make an impact.
Don’t forget to visit the Stand Up To Cancer Web site for more information.
“I just encourage people to get involved because everybody is affected by this disease,” Couric says. “We have all the technology to put the contents of the Encyclopedia Britannica on a microchip, and we should be able to come up with better, more effective treatments for cancer.”
Executive producers Gwyneth Paltrow and Joel Gallen of Tenth Planet Productions joined Stand Up To Cancer’s production team to deliver a one-of-a-kind show in September 2012, featuring performances from top recording artists, and celebrities from film, television and sports engaging viewers with powerful stories and a moving call-to-action.
Gallen previously produced three extremely successful televised fundraising specials: “America: A Tribute to Heroes” (after 9/11), “Shelter from the Storm: A Concert for the Gulf Coast,” and “Hope For Haiti Now.” Music was a key element of each. He also produced and directed the “25th Anniversary Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Concert.”
Viewers were able to donate via text-to-give and at standup2cancer.org; 100 percent of all public donations will go directly to cancer research.
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