When Vice President Joe Biden launched his ambitious “Moonshot” to cure cancer, the Cancer Support Community was one of the first patient groups asked to participate in the critical initiative. The Vice President’s high profile effort aims to bring together federal agencies and other important cancer research and support groups to maximize collective resources towards finding a cure. Cancer Support Community supports the concept of putting our substantial research and intellectual assets in this needed work across the many different existing illnesses called cancer. It is hoped that with data sharing and “working from the same playbook,” as Biden has said, that barriers to new advances will come down and that progress steps up in the areas of research and treatment.
Cancer Support Community, which has provided emotional support to those with cancer and their caregivers for 20 years in Delaware, was at the table for the initial meeting with Vice President Biden’s task force on January 28, 2016. It is the Cancer Support Community’s intention to not “lose the patient in the science,” and we will work to make sure the patient voice is included in the ongoing discussion. We look forward to hosting this initiative in Delaware in the near future.
Just as the original “moonshot” took years, the quest for controlling and curing cancers will not happen overnight. Our work with cancer survivors informs our knowledge that, even with improvement and eventual eradication of cancer, many people will continue to need emotional support to cope with the long term effects of treatment and survivorship. The Cancer Support Community Delaware will be there to provide this support. The statewide Cancer Support Communities and the national affiliate network of over 120 locations in this country will continue to mitigate the isolation and loss of control that people with cancer continue to experience while providing the hope that this initiative will surely give as the “moonshot” succeeds in its mission.