Wow, what a start. We just wrapped up our first stop at the Ralph Lauren Center for Cancer Care and Prevention in Harlem. RLC is celebrating their 5th Anniversary this month and I was thrilled to be a part of an event that marks five years of extraordinary service to one of New York’s most underserved communities.
Our hosts for a tour of the facility were RLC’s President, Dr. Harold Freeman, and Dr. Harold Varmus, President of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, and Ralph Lauren. Ralph’s dedication to this cause is truly inspirational and he is making a dramatic difference in the lives of countless New Yorkers through his facility here in Harlem.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg was also on hand to celebrate LIVESTRONG Day and the Center’s anniversary. He is a public health champion and a great ally in the fight against cancer. I’m grateful that he took the time out of his busy day to stop by and say a few words to everyone there.
This was the perfect way to kick off my LIVESTRONG Day cross-country tour , because RLC represents the best America has to offer when it comes to community-based treatment and prevention. RLC is there for a community that is traditionally under-served, and does so in a way that places quality patient care above all else. A disproportionately large number of people die needlessly in communities just like Harlem; they die because they don’t get the care and the services they deserve as citizens of this–the greatest country on earth–and that is unacceptable.
Martin Luther King once said, “Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane.” We can do better and we must do better. Our visit to Harlem has us all energized for the big day ahead. So, on to Ohio!