by Chris Brewer
Day One of the LIVESTRONG Global Cancer Summit has ended, but as CEO Doug Ulman said in his opening remarks, “…the discussion has just begun.” 500 delegates from 65 countries have gathered here at the Royal Dublin Society in Dublin to learn, cooperate, and communicate in order to find ways to work together as a community in the fight against cancer.
Following breakfast the day started with a procession of all the country?s flags. Then little Rosa Caird introduced Lance Armstrong. Rosa?s a 9-year old Irish kidney cancer survivor, and her father donated a kidney to her in the ultimate act of parental love.
The Summit then got down to business with two morning panel discussions. CNN chief medical correspondent and LAF Board Member Dr. Sanjay Gupta first headed up “Understanding the Global Impact of Cancer” followed by LAF CEO Doug Ulman moderating a discussion on “Government Action.”
The delegates then adjourned for lunch, but it was not just a time to refuel but to start making those key connections over a meal that so often lead to amazing new relationships. After lunch the group heard an interesting talk by Professor Judith Macay about the scourge of smoking cigarettes, titled “Tobacco: A Smoking Gun in the Cancer Epidemic.” As I listened I couldn?t help but admire how our entire host country has banned smoking in public places, and yet my home state of Texas still can?t get it done…
The afternoon session started off with an inspiring presentation of 100,000 signatures for the World Cancer Declaration, and that?s where you come in as well. You can still join us in this endeavor, and it?s as simple as going to www.livestrongaction.org! I signed on, and I hope you will too. From there we were honored to have seven delegates tell us why they had signed the Declaration and all about the great work they were doing in their communities.
We then had two more panels and heard about the challenges of “Balancing Health Priorities and Government Resources” led by Dr. Ala Alwan as well as “Answering the Call, Making New Commitments to Cancer Control,” with Doug once again moderating.
Then, as is thankfully often the case at LIVESTRONG Summit, we had a very special moment. My friend and fellow cancer survivor Joe Schneider came out to introduce Lance. But as he told his emotional story about the impact cancer had had not only on him but his family as well, he made a call for action ? NOW ? in the fight against this damned disease. The single moment of silence that was there right after he demanded action was just riveting, and so pure…
Lance then came out and led a “Conversation about Corporate Social Responsibility” with the heads of Nike, American Century Investments, and Pfizer. You could clearly see that all three of these companies walk the walk when it comes to believing in being a part of the solution. After the panel, Lance was joined by Doug for one more closing item, simple put as a Statement of Unity. In that statement, they said that the LAF believes:
1 ? All countries should have National Cancer Control Plans
2 ? We need to make a global investment in Cancer Control
3 ? Establish Millenium Development Goals
4 ? We must reduce the stigma of cancer
And with that we adjourned for the day, but we?ll be back together soon tonight for a reception and dinner at the RDS. Until then, ciao for now, and thanks for checking in! ? Cb…