Journalist crusades for cure

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“When my husband, Jay, was diagnosed, I was pulling my hair out, trying to find out everything I could about colon cancer,” recalls CBS anchor Katie Couric. “I was so lost and felt so alone when my husband was sick.”

Since those difficult days, Couric co-founded Stand Up to Cancer (SU2C), an initiative created to accelerate groundbreaking cancer research and get those therapies to patients quickly. The aim is to bring together and encourage collaboration between the “best and the brightest” in the cancer community. The foundation calls them their “Dream Team.”

“Our paradigm of having scientists share resources and brain power is really paying off,” says Couric. “There’s been a lot of really exciting things happening in the field of pancreatic cancer.”

Cancer, of course, can be many different diseases, and the research has the potential to impact the diagnoses and treatment of not only pancreatic but also breast, ovarian, cervical and other cancers.

“The Dream Team is trying some novel approaches,” Couric adds. “And we have these out-of-the-box scientists that we also fund. You never know when an out-of-the-box idea is going to lead to better treatment and a cure.”

On Sept. 10, Couric will co-host, along with Diane Sawyer and Brian Williams, a primetime SU2C fundraising event, broadcast simultaneously on the four networks and a number of cablers.

“It’s all about collaboration,” says Couric. “Collaborating between friends, family and strangers when you get a diagnosis. Collaborating between doctors, scientists and researchers. Collaborating with Diane, Brian and all the networks. Joining forces is very symbolic of our whole mantra.”

For more information, visit standup2cancer.org.

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