Senator Ted Kennedy was already active in anti-cancer campaigns more than 40 years ago. He was a regular visitor at the renowned cancer center Dana Farber Institute in the 60s and then in 70s where his son Ted Jr. was treated for a rare bone cancer. The treatment was successful.
The Senator worked with health experts and other legislators to facilitate the “War on Cancer” campaign. He tirelessly worked for raising funds for the benefit of cancer research and in the process provided supported to cancer groups like the Dana Farber Institute and the American Cancer Society. In 2000, he was awarded the Sidney Farber Medical Research, a recognition given to “individuals or groups who have made outstanding contributions to the fight against cancer, either through research or public service.”
The senator was also the first non-scientist to deliver the prestigious Andrew H. Weinberg Memorial Lecture at Dana-Farber in 2006. His talk, entitled “Fulfilling the Potential of the Century of Life Sciences” clearly opposed the then proposed cuts of the Bush administration in federal funding for cancer research.
In addition, Sen Kennedy was also supposedly instrumental in promoting the genda National Institutes of Health (NIH) agenda and the National Cancer Institute (NCI)
According to Dr. Edward J. Benz, Jr., president and CEO of Dana-Farber Institute:
In the eyes of many, especially the cancer patients and their families, Sen Kennedy did not lose in the battle against cancer. He never quit and he made a big difference and that makes him a winner- and a hero.
One of Sen Kennedy’s legacy is the continuation of his work as a tireless fighter of cancer. President Obama signed the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act earlier this year which brought about 2 major changes:
- designating Sept 11 as the US National Day of Service and Remembrance
- expanding opportunities for volunteers
To commemorate this day, the American Cancer Society (ACS) invites volunteers from all the country to help in the fight against cancer. According to ACS CEO Dr. John R. Seffrin:
“On the September 11 National Day of Service and Remembrance, we can take an anniversary of an unimaginable tragedy and mark it as an occasion to come together and make this world a better place. By choosing to volunteer with the American Cancer Society, you can truly make a difference in the lives of people with cancer and their loved ones — you can help save lives while fulfilling your own and help create a world with more birthdays. Please join us so together, we can create a world where this disease can no longer steal another year of anyone’s life.”
Check out the ACS to know more!