One needs to go no further than listening to Vice President Joe Biden’s presentation at Howard
University, June 29, 2016, to understand the power of servant leadership. Don’t just listen to
snippets. Please take time to listen for the entire 45+ minutes. Be prepared to be moved, even
mesmerized, as was I, by the passion, compassion, anger, and urgency in the delivery and challenge
of the Vice President’s message.
The Cancer Moonshot was announced by President Barack Obama in his January 2016 State of the
Union address. The mission is “to accelerate cancer research, make more therapies available to more
patients, and to improve ability to prevent cancer, and to detect it at an early stage.” Who better to
lead this effort than Joe Biden?
It is said that all politics is personal. More than anyone in public life today, I believe that Joe Biden
addresses critical issues with a perfect mix of mental acuity and heartfelt concern. The loss of his son,
Beau Biden, May 30, 2015, at age 46, who passed away from the complications of brain cancer, has
propelled Joe and Jill Biden and their family to new purpose, even a higher calling, to make a difference,
to create change, to do whatever it takes to eradicate the scourge of cancer.
The Vice President was Introduced at Howard University by Carol Burnett who spoke of the loss of
her daughter, Carrie Hamilton, January 20, 2002, at age 38, whose love of life, good humor, and
spirit could not conquer lung cancer.
The Moonshot requires the participation of physicians, nurses, all healthcare providers and
administrators, scientists, researchers, the bio-tech and pharmaceutical industries, academia, patients
and advocates, politicians of all parties, and each and every one of us. The elimination of silos,
communication across sectors, reaching ten-year goals in five years are all possible.
Is there anyone among us who has not lost a loved one to the terror of cancer? Why isn’t there
a way to destroy this monster? Or at least to treat it as a chronic disease? As a parent, having
lost my son, Tim Wright, November 11, 2000, at age 40, to the ravages of colon cancer, I know
the heartbreak. There are thousands of us throughout the nation who are one with Joe and Jill
and Carol. We have witnessed the suffering of spouses, moms, dads, brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, grandchildren, relatives
and friends. Perhaps we might be able to fill a bit of the hole in our heart by supporting the Cancer
Moonshot. Learn as much as you can about it, attend meetings, take action in whatever way you
are able. Imagine a world without cancer! Awesome, indeed! The Cancer Moonshot makes it possible.
Links to videos and articles follow. There is much more information on-line, of course.