Stand Up To Cancer

“Sidney Kimmel Stands Up To Cancer.” Those words flashed across television screens all over the nation on September 7, 2008, just before ABC News veteran Charlie Gibson introduced Sidney Kimmel saying: “He’s too humble to say this, but I am proud to announce tonight that Sidney Kimmel has pledged $25 million to Stand Up To Cancer”. Once again, promise was connected to progress. From the 1998 March on Washington to change the nature of cancer funding by government to Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C), one of the boldest initiatives to raise money for breakthrough research and awareness about cancer, Sidney Kimmel has been the go-to guy.

The Sidney Kimmel Foundation’s pledge was inspirational. As one of America’s largest individual supporters of cancer research, and the largest individual donor to SU2C, Mr. Kimmel’s gift was a seal of approval, bringing credibility, attention and additional philanthropic resources to SU2C’s novel and potent cancer-fighting work. The goal was to harness the energy of top celebrities, music legends, news teams, the nation’s top cancer doctors and researchers to foster the highest level of collaborative and innovative research.

Consistent with the Kimmel Foundation’s principle of ensuring impact follows its philanthropy, Time magazine wrote of SU2C: “What started in Hollywood is now being embraced by the very heart of the research establishment.” It is no coincidence that Sidney Kimmel was there on day one. Today, SU2C continues to be one of the leading voices that screams for more cancer research in America. Through innovation, collaboration, and translational research, the group is changing the culture of cancer science.

“Sidney Kimmel is a true visionary whose support has been central to our ability to build Stand Up To Cancer,” said co-founder Sherry Lansing. “Everyone at SU2C – our staff team, the scientists, and, most importantly, the patients whose lives have been saved – are profoundly grateful for Sidney’s leadership.”

SU2C supports “Dream Teams,” groups of scientists, clinicians, technicians and other experts who collaborate in unprecedented ways across disciplines and institutions. These teams have run scores of clinical trials, leading to exciting developments, including a new FDA-approved therapy for pancreatic cancer, and an especially promising breast-cancer treatment that has garnered FDA designation as a breakthrough therapy.

Lansing also credits Kimmel’s “great foresight” for his support for early and mid-career researchers through SU2C’s Innovative Research Grants. These grants allow some of the best and brightest young investigators to step out of their comfort zones and focus on making major breakthroughs with bold research projects – projects that SU2C calls “high-risk,” but with “the potential for big pay-offs in terms of lives saved.”