Katie Couric Stands Up to Cancer
Denise Brodey: Given everything you've done to teach people about colon cancer, why now did you take on such an ambitious endeavor as Stand Up To Cancer?
Katie Couric: We've moved the needle a bit in the past few years on this second-leading cancer killer, and I'm proud of that -- the decline in the death rate from 2003 to 2005 was close to 10 percent. Yet colon cancer still takes the lives of almost 50,000 Americans each year, and when you look at cancer as a whole, it claims one person every minute of every day in the U.S. It's a very big problem that demands a big response. I like to paraphrase the movie Network: "We're mad as hell and we're not going to take it anymore." The good news is that scientists are on the cusp of important discoveries, but to continue doing their work, they need additional funding and better ways to work together. That's what Stand Up To Cancer is all about.
DB: How did you arrive at the idea for this campaign?
KC: The notion of asking the networks to do a "roadblock" special [in which the major networks all air the same program at the same time] to support cancer research actually came up during a fund-raising meeting with Lisa Paulsen, the president and CEO of the Entertainment Industry Foundation, when we were brainstorming about how to raise money for our colon cancer initiative. It turned out that other people in the broadcasting industry, as well as foundations in the film and television communities, were working on similar ideas, so we joined forces and were off and running!
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