Katie Couric, Diane Sawyer and Brian Williams came together to announce the second star-studded broadcast event for "Stand Up To Cancer" (SU2C), an event that is so significant, it will be simultaneously broadcast on ABC, CBS and NBC, as well as several cable networks.
"I basically am doing this in honor of my husband Jay, who died of colon cancer and my sister Emily, who died of pancreatic cancer," Couric says. "What motivates me is having experienced this with people I was so close to and loved so much. I want to spare other families and people from going through this. …If we can help these scientists come up with better treatments and, even a cure one day, people like Emily and Jay will live long and healthy lives."
"I lost my mother to non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. I lost my sister to breast cancer after a six-year fight, so two years ago when this came up, it was the fastest decision I have ever made. I can't wait to go back to work for the cause," Williams says.
"Stand Up To Cancer" will return to primetime television on September 10 at 8 p.m. with an appeal to build continuing public support and donations for cutting-edge cancer research that translates at a rapid pace from the laboratory to treatments and technologies that benefit patients.
"We have made a lot of strides in cancer research, but they are not good enough for me and they shouldn't be good enough for any of us," Couric says. "Still, one person dies every minute of cancer in this country and that is simply unacceptable. That is why it is important to galvanize the citizenry to help these scientists and give them the support and the research dollars they need to work as teams and come up with better treatments and prevention strategies. To keep all these incredible people alive. That is my dream."
"Together we can do this," Sawyer says. "Yes, we are losing one person a minute, but there are 11 million survivors out there -- so much living proof that this can be done."
In addition to ABC, CBS and NBC -- HBO, Discovery Health, E!, MLB Network, The Style Network and others will be joining the simulcast. While the broadcast will honor the memory of those taken by the disease, it will focus on surviving cancer -- on living a full life after being diagnosed with it. In the United States alone this year, 1.4 million people will be diagnosed with cancer.
One hundred percent of all public donations will go directly to cancer research. The primary goal of SU2C is to raise funds for groundbreaking translational research to accelerate the delivery of new therapies to patients, getting them from the "bench to the bedside" as quickly as possible. SU2C brings together scientists from different disciplines across various institutions to work collaboratively -- rather than competitively -- at a critical time in the field of cancer research.
The 2008 telecast helped raise more than $100 million, and more than $83 million has since been committed to five multi-disciplinary "Dream Teams" of researchers from more than 50 institutions, as well as to 13 young innovative scientists who are undertaking high-risk, potentially high-reward projects to end the reign of cancer as a leading cause of death in the world today.