“War on Cancer” He Helped Ignite Continues
DALLAS – August 26, 2009 – Susan G. Komen for the Cure® and the Susan G. Komen for the Cure® Advocacy Alliance express condolences to the family and staff of our long-time friend and ally U.S. Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, who passed away late Tuesday night following his long battle with brain cancer.
“Senator Kennedy was not only a giant in the Senate, he was a dear friend of the entire cancer community, having helped launch the nation’s war on cancer more than 25 years ago,” said Ambassador Nancy G. Brinker, founding chair of Susan G. Komen for the Cure and chair of Susan G. Komen for the Cure Advocacy Alliance’s 19 member Board of Directors, which includes leaders from the business, advocacy and heath care industries and includes survivors and co-survivor(s). “He was our friend in the beginning, and he continued to stand by us until his final days. His strength and perseverance were an inspiration to us all. While he will be missed, his spirit lives on in the fight to find the cures for cancer.”
Kennedy wrote the original National Cancer Act of 1971, which kicked off our nation’s “War on Cancer.” Nearly four decades later, Kennedy was once again leading a bipartisan effort, along with U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX), to comprehensively address the challenges our nation faces in battling this disease. Kennedy and his staff worked closely with the Komen Advocacy Alliance, along with others in the cancer community, to strengthen cancer research, increase access to treatment and develop new and better resources to detect cancers at an earlier stage. This effort led to the introduction earlier this year of the 21st Century Cancer ALERT (Access to Life-saving Early Detection, Research and Treatment) Act.
As a long-time champion of comprehensive health reform, Kennedy and his staff also worked tirelessly to ensure that the needs of cancer patients are considered in the current reform debate.
“Senator Kennedy helped unite the cancer community – and the nation – behind the idea that we must put aside our differences and work together toward a common goal: the end of suffering from cancer,” said Hala Moddelmog, president and CEO of Komen for the Cure. “The thoughts and prayers of the entire Susan G. Komen for the Cure network of survivors and advocates are with his dear wife Victoria and his family as they mourn his passing.”