If you have been anywhere near a radio or a television you have probably heard about tonight’s StandUp2Cancer broadcast, which will air on all major networks to raise funds for cancer research.
Where did this come from? Who started all this? I certainly didn’t grow up with a show like this. Only the president went across networks. The answer is a woman named Laura Ziskin.
Laura was a Hollywood producer who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004. She told Variety that year, “When you’re diagnosed with cancer, the last thing you want to do is join a movement. You kind of just want to crawl in a hole.”
However, she didn’t crawl into a hole she created a non-profit, Stand Up 2 Cancer, that turned into an amazing movement. In 2008, after watching former Vice President Al Gore’s documentary she realized, “the power of the medium in which I work to affect how people think.” She used that and all her celebrity pull to create powerful change.
Janet Champ wrote this on the Stand Up 2 Cancer’s web-site and I thought it summed up the one woman force that created this change. She said, “When you or someone you love hears the word ‘cancer’, the air is sucked out of the room. Inside your body a door closes, you can hear it, physically feel it. But Laura took that door and opened it. She refused to be intimidated or bullied or destroyed and she wanted to give others the strength to refuse, as well.
Fredrick Nietsche said ‘If you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.’ Cancer is the abyss. What did it see when it gazed into Laura Ziskin? It must have been terrified. Scared shitless, really, by her bravery, courage, utter determination to never blink, never run. Now we have to do the same in her honor. Open the door, look at cancer for the thief it is, and refuse to let it steal any other life, any love. In her name it’s the least we can do.”
Laura Ziskin lost her battle last year but tonight you too can Stand Up or I suppose sit up and watch what one amazing woman created that has generated over $180 million dollars for cancer research.
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