By Shree Mukilan Pari
One in three people will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime, according to the American Cancer Society.
That’s a staggering statistic. It means one person in a family of three, ten people on a city bus transporting thirty, and one hundred in a medium-sized high school class. (Much later in life for the vast majority of those students, thankfully.)
Even those of us fortunate enough not to face a personal battle with cancer will surely know someone afflicted with the disease, if we don’t already. Cancer truly touches us all.
That’s one of the many reasons I’m proud to support the American Cancer Society and work so hard to convince my friends and colleagues to do the same.
The American Cancer Society does much more than simply provide comfort and companionship to people facing cancer and the loved ones touched indirectly by the disease. This century-old organization is on the forefront of the scientific battle against cancer. Its leadership understands that humanity’s best hope for managing and perhaps one day curing the hundreds of different cancers that afflict our species lies in medical research — specifically, research that aims to unlock cancer’s genetic secrets and develop personalized treatments to extend patients’ lives.
Thanks to an onslaught of genetic breakthroughs this decade, we’ve never been closer to this goal. But the road ahead is a long one. I, for one, plan to devote my career to assisting in the epic battle against cancer, and I’m grateful that the ACA is on my team.
The American Cancer Society Is Doing Amazing Work. Here’s How They Make a Difference Every Day.
The American Cancer Society does a lot of fantastic things to fight cancer. I’d like to highlight just a few aspects of its work, each of which is vitally important to its overall goal of improving and extending the lives of those suffering from cancer.
First, the American Cancer Society plays an important role in educating the public about the many types of cancer, their warning signs, patients’ treatment options, and more:
- Its Cancer A-Z resource is a good starting point to learn more about the different types of cancer.
- Stay Healthy helps Americans make evidence-based choices that may reduce their cancer risk.
- Treatment & Support gives newly diagnosed patients hope — and facts — about what comes next.
The American Cancer Society is also a major supporter of cancer research. The organization has put nearly $5 billion toward cancer research since 1946, both in support of its own talented cancer researchers and as an external funder for groundbreaking work by partner institutions.
“Even as the world grapples with the acute health emergency of the coronavirus pandemic, the ACA continues to dole out grants to cancer research that could save countless lives in the years to come.” — Shree Mukilan Pari
Finally, the American Cancer Society works tirelessly to raise awareness around cancer. To that end, it works with dozens of high-profile partners: major corporations and business leaders, celebrities, brand ambassadors, sports leagues, you name it. You might not think much of awareness-building media campaigns, but they wouldn’t fund them if they didn’t work.
You Can Support the American Cancer Society, Too
Well, my secret is out. I can’t hide my support for the American Cancer Society any longer.
Nor should you. If you’ve been moved by what you’ve learned about the ACA’s mission, I’d encourage you to join the fight. Here’s a small sampling of what you can do to support the organization.
- Volunteer in Your Community. The American Cancer Society holds fundraising events all over the country. No matter where you live, you’re not far off from one. Consider volunteering at a premier ACA fundraiser like Relay for Life or Making Strides Against Breast Cancer (and get some fresh air while you’re at it).
- Shop for a Cause. Give back while rewarding yourself by shopping with ACA partners like Amazon, 1-800-FLOWERS, and eBay. A portion of each purchase funds the ACA’s lifesaving work.
- Make a One-Time or Monthly Donation. Whatever you can give, give it as you’re able. Consider a monthly donation to maximize your impact, or make an even bigger difference by rolling over a retirement account.
- Plan a Legacy Gift. Want to leave a world-changing legacy after you’re gone? Contact your financial advisor and an ACA representative about planning a legacy gift.
- Become a Fundraiser. If you’d like to do more than just volunteer, consider becoming a fundraiser for an ACA event like Relay for Life or Making Strides Against Breast Cancer. Your support, and your personal network, could save lives.
Do you believe in the American Cancer Society’s mission? How do you show your support for the organization?
Shree Mukilan Pari is an aspiring medical student who’s passionate about improving the quality of life of those less fortunate among us.