Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) today announced more than $123.6 million has been pledged collectively so far in connection with the star-studded Sept. 7 “roadblock” fundraising telecast in the United States and Canada.
The funds pledged toward the SU2C scientific model will be directed to collaborative research programs utilizing SU2C’s scientific oversight in both the United States and Canada.
“Having more than 70 broadcast and cable networks and streaming and social platforms donate the time to air the show is record-breaking for SU2C, and we are profoundly grateful for their commitment,” said Sherry Lansing, a member of the Stand Up To Cancer Council of Founders and Advisors (CFA) and member and past chairperson of the board of directors of the Entertainment Industry Foundation, a 501c3 non-profit organization of which Stand Up To Cancer is a division. “This was our best-ever fundraising special. The more than $123.6 million pledged will support extraordinary new research programs that will save lives.”
The live show was SU2C’s sixth biennial fundraising telecast since the organization launched in 2008 and marks ten years of impact in the fight against cancer. The telecast featured a stellar cast of celebrated figures from the worlds of entertainment, music, sports, and science, as well as a number of cancer survivors who have benefited from SU2C-supported research.
In the U.S., SU2C is still gratefully accepting donations at www.StandUpToCancer.org and at 1-888-90-STAND (78263).
The telecast is available at www.StandUpToCancer.org/show.
“We deeply appreciate that our donors embrace SU2C’s innovative model of research, fostering collaboration across institutional lines and encouraging scientists from different disciplines to work side-by-side,” said Sung Poblete, Ph.D., R.N., president and CEO of SU2C. “We’re proud of the meaningful advances our research teams are making for patients, and so grateful to individual and major donors alike.”
The telecast was co-executive produced by Academy Award-nominated actor Bradley Cooper along with Executive Producers David Jammy and Katy Mullan of Done + Dusted, Madeline Marotto, Stand Up To Cancer Co-Founders Lisa Paulsen and Pamela Oas Williams, and Bedonna Smith of Anonymous Content.
“Progress for patients is what Stand Up To Cancer is all about, and I find the research advancements and how they are helping people with cancer to be absolutely stunning,” said Co-Executive Producer Bradley Cooper, who lost his father, Charles Cooper, to lung cancer in 2011. “SU2C’s scientists have begun to make the impossible, possible… to give patients new hope that they can become long-term survivors. In my role as a co-executive producer of the telecast, I’m honored to be part of the team making the public aware of how their contributions are changing – and saving – lives,” he said.
The telecast aired on more than 70 broadcast and cable networks and streaming and social platforms, including: ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC, along with American Heroes Channel, AT&T AUDIENCE Network, Bloomberg TV, Bravo, Destination America, Discovery Family, Discovery Life, E!, EPIX, Escape, ESPNEWS, FM, Freeform, FS2, FXM, FYI, Galavision, Great American Country, HBO, HBO Latino, ION Television, Jewish Life TV, Laff, Logo, MTV2, Nat Geo WILD, REELZ, SHOWTIME, Smithsonian Channel, STARZ, STARZ ENCORE, STARZ ENCORE ESPAÑOL, TNT, Univision Puerto Rico, and WGN America, all of which donated one hour of simultaneous commercial-free primetime for the telecast. The telecast is now available to stream via ComedyCentral.com and the Comedy Central app, as well as their VOD partners. Aspire TV aired the Stand Up To Cancer telecast on Saturday, Sept. 8. The entire telecast also streamed live on SU2C’s Facebook page and PeopleTV, as well as live and on-demand on Hulu and SU2C’s YouTube page.
For the third time, a Canada-inclusive telecast aired simultaneously on four major English-language Canadian broadcasters: CBC, Citytv, CTV, and Global, as well as Canadian services AMI, A.Side, BBC Earth, CHCH, CHEK, Cottage Life, Fight Network, Game TV, HIFI, Hollywood Suite, Love Nature, Makeful, NTV, OUTtv, Smithsonian Channel Canada, T+E and YES TV. In addition, the show streamed live on the CBC TV App, cbc.ca/watch, CBS All Access, the CTV App and CTV.ca, Global GO and GlobalTV.com, and SU2C Canada’s YouTube page. The Canada-inclusive telecast was available on-demand on TELUS Optik TV in Canada.
Celebrities who appeared on the telecast include Mahershala Ali, Jason Bateman, Kathy Bates, Beth Behrs, Julie Bowen, Josh Brolin, James Corden, Katie Couric, Kaley Cuoco, Matt Damon, Shannen Doherty, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Jennifer Garner, Max Greenfield, Tony Hale, Jon Hamm, Mark Harmon, Marg Helgenberger, Ed Helms, Sarah Hyland, Ken Jeong, Adam Klein, Tyler Labine, Diego Luna, Sonequa Martin-Green, Marlee Matlin, Matthew McConaughey, Eric McCormack, Maria Menounos, Jillian Michaels, Tracy Morgan, Trevor Noah, John Oliver, Dave Price, Dak Prescott, Keanu Reeves, Italia Ricci, Rob Riggle, Tracee Ellis Ross, Winona Ryder, Karla Souza, David Spade, Eric Stonestreet, Alison Sweeney, Bree Turner, Keith Urban, Sofia Vergara, and Marlon Wayans.
The telecast’s three musical performances included a medley by Stevie Wonder, who performed “What The World Needs Now Is Love” and “Love’s In Need Of Love Today” in a special tribute to Aretha Franklin, who died last month from pancreatic cancer; a rendition of “With a Little Help From My Friends” by Little Big Town; and 11-time Grammy-nominee and cancer survivor Charlie Wilson, who performed Diane Warren and Common’s “Stand Up For Something” with the a capella quartet, 4th Ave.
“We are so grateful to the incredible array of people who contributed their time and talent to make the show a huge success,” said SU2C CFA Member and telecast Executive Producer Lisa Paulsen. “Over these past 10 years, more than 800 celebrities have helped us convey what a hopeful moment this is in cancer research, and we are so thankful for their support.”
The 2018 telecast aired live from The Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, CA. The historic space featured a large main stage with Stand Up To Cancer’s animated graphics and SU2C brand colors and other touchpoints layered into every facet of the set and design. At several points during the show, the cameras brought viewers to a “backstage hub” where celebrities answered donor phone calls and interacted with the public via social media channels Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
The show helps fund SU2C’s groundbreaking approach to collaborative translational research, accelerating the delivery of new therapies to patients. SU2C brings together scientists from different disciplines and institutions to work collaboratively. One hundred percent of the donations received from the general public in connection with the telecast go directly to cancer research programs.
“After a wonderfully successful show two years ago, we’re honored to partner again with such a talented team to raise awareness and funds for this important cause,” said Hamish Hamilton, executive producer at Done + Dusted and director of the telecast. “We’re constantly inspired by the remarkable work of Stand Up To Cancer, so we are thrilled to continue our relationship with SU2C.”
The telecast marks SU2C’s ten years of support for cutting-edge research aimed at turning every cancer patient into a long-term survivor. Work by SU2C researchers has contributed to FDA approval of five new cancer treatments.
Three patients who are benefiting from Stand Up To Cancer research appeared on the telecast:
Caitlyn Timmins, a Canadian teen whose hypermutant cancer failed to respond to traditional therapies and spread to two additional organs, acknowledged feeling that there was no point in continuing treatment. She describes the change of heart she experienced not long after starting a Stand Up To Cancer-funded immunotherapy clinical trial this way: “After the three months, they did an MRI, found out my tumor had shrunk—that was my moment of OK, maybe this worth it….I can picture prom with my friends, and graduation; things to look forward to.” Having just entered her senior year in high school, Caitlyn now has no evidence of cancer.
Lidia Gonzalez, a retired school teacher from Yuma, AZ, whose pancreatic cancer was initially treated on a five-drug combination clinical trial, saw her tumor shrink by half. Lidia is currently on a different combination treatment, doing well with minimal evidence of cancer, according to her medical oncologist, Erkut Borazanci, M.D., a clinical investigator at HonorHealth Research Institute, who explained, “The clinical trial was built upon research supported by the SU2C and the Lustgarten Foundation that showed a very high response rate in stage four pancreas cancer.”
Brian Pinckard, a former Marine Corps pilot from Atlantic Beach, NC, whose melanoma recurred twice and eventually spread to his brain, until he was treated in an SU2C-funded immunotherapy clinical trial and went into functional remission. “I really started doing a lot of research on clinical trials. I was going to try as many different things as it took…I’m at a year of just complete stability and hopefully will be for a long time to come…I owe my life to these clinical trials because I don’t think I’d be here without them.” Cassian Yee, MD, Co-Leader of the SU2C-CRI Immunology Dream Team, says, “The funding Stand Up To Cancer provides is just critical.”
“Stories of patients whose lives have been saved by SU2C-funded research take my breath away,” said SU2C CFA Member Katie Couric. “The strength and resilience of these survivors are a source of inspiration, while the advances that scientists are making in understanding and treating cancer is a source of new hope.”
In an effort to empower a new generation to Stand Up To Cancer, this year’s telecast followed a first-of-its-kind, one-hour, standalone digital pre-show event, called It’s #Up2Us: Stand Up To Cancer | The Digital Live Show. The provocative and innovative program streamed live on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube for the hour leading into the live telecast, and was featured across iHeartMedia’s multiple social platforms. The show was co-hosted by actor Max Greenfield (“New Girl,” “The Neighborhood”), actor Tyler Posey (“Teen Wolf,” “Scream: The TV Series”), and actress Brenda Song (“The Social Network,” “Station 19”), and featured influencers and stars from digital, TV, film, and music, including Rhett + Link, Uzo Aduba, Beth Behrs, Paris Berelc, Yael Cohen Braun, Danielle Campbell, Katie Couric, Nik Dodani, Hannah Hart, Olivia Holt, Ken Jeong, Liza Koshy, Felix Mallard, My Nguyen, Teni Panosian, Candice Patton, Megan Pormer, Andrea Russett, Jussie Smollet, Damon Wayans Jr., Amber Stevens West, iHeartRadio’s JoJo Wright, Mackenzie and Maddie Ziegler, and others. Instagram and Snapchat supported the proactive initiative with complementary content and stories tied to the sweeping campaign.
“We want to give everyone a chance to be part of Stand Up’s effort to end cancer as we know it,” said SU2C CFA Member Ellen Ziffren. “By enlisting users of key social media platforms, we encouraged a conversation about something that, in one way or another, touches us all. Doctors and researchers are getting closer to beating this insidious disease, but they can’t do it alone. Our goal was to bring the Stand Up To Cancer message to the widest audience possible, because when we all stand together, cancer doesn’t stand a chance.”
The hashtag #StandUpToCancer trended on Twitter during the broadcast.
In addition, Twitch — the leading social video service and community for gamers where tens of millions of people from around the world come together each day for live, shared, interactive entertainment — played a unique part in the 2018 show. Hosted by Twitch Studios Ambassador and esports host Rachel “Seltzer” Quirico, Twitch fan favorites Markiplier and Pokimane went head-to-head with other gamers and celebrity participants in today’s popular gaming title: Fortnite. With a goal to connect its passionate online community to SU2C’s mission to support innovative cancer research, Twitch live-streamed part of the Fortnite competition on the official Twitch channel and was featured in the live television broadcast. Twitch streamers and gamers were on hand to play in an effort to raise awareness and funds to support SU2C.
“We believe that everyone has a role to play in the fight against cancer, whether individuals who dig deep into their pockets to support cancer research, or a major corporation, foundation, or philanthropist,” said SU2C CFA Member and Robertson Schwartz Agency Co-Founder Rusty Robertson. “We are so grateful to donors no matter the size of their contributions, because every dollar gets us one step closer to beating this disease.”
“By featuring both the brilliant scientists who develop the new treatments, and some of the cancer patients who benefit from their work, the telecast not only showcases the tremendous success of SU2C’s funding model, it also draws a through-line from donor to SU2C to living, breathing patients, making the whole process very real to viewers,” said SU2C CFA member Pamela Oas Williams. “I can’t help but think how pleased our beloved colleague Laura Ziskin—who was SU2C’s true north, always keeping us laser-focused on the patient, until breast cancer took her life seven years ago — would be to see what has been accomplished in our first 10 years.”
Every day, cancer kills nearly 1,900 people in the United States and Canada — more than one person every minute. SU2C was founded on the belief that the fight against cancer is at a tipping point — a pivotal juncture where transformative progress in cancer research is finally possible because of two trends: breakthroughs made in the understanding of the basic science of cancer, and technological advances that enable these breakthroughs to be translated into new treatments. Today’s cancer researchers need additional funding to fulfill the promise of life-saving discoveries, and Stand Up To Cancer engages the public to support their work.
“We sincerely thank the entertainment community for mobilizing with us in the fight against cancer,” said Chris Silbermann, chairman of the board of the Entertainment Industry Foundation, a philanthropic arm of the entertainment and media industries. “We are proud that our Stand Up To Cancer division so successfully harnesses the power of Hollywood to engage major donors and the public to raise funds for innovative research. These efforts, based on teamwork and shared learning, produce tangible benefits for patients in true need. We are honored to help support all those in the fight as they Stand Up.”
To date, more than $603 million has been pledged in support of SU2C’s innovative cancer research programs. The organization has brought together more than 1,500 of the best scientists from over 180 leading institutions with an emphasis on collaborative, multidisciplinary teams that deliver new therapies and treatments to cancer patients. Investigators work together on Stand Up To Cancer’s 24 signature “Dream Teams,” among a total of 79 team science grants and awards. SU2C-funded researchers have planned, launched or completed more than 180 clinical trials involving over 12,000 patients.
“SU2C has had a significant impact on the public, shining a new light on an old problem and engaging people from all walks of life in helping the scientists working on accelerating the pace of getting better and more effective treatments to patients,” said Dr. Phillip A. Sharp, Nobel laureate and chair of the SU2C Scientific Advisory Committee. “From the philanthropists, companies or organizations who can make $10 million gifts to individuals who can donate $10, there is a renewed sense that, together, we can win this fight.”
As SU2C’s founding donor, Major League Baseball has continued to annually provide both financial support and countless opportunities to build the Stand Up To Cancer movement by encouraging fans worldwide to get involved, most notably through its two largest global events – the MLB All-Star Game and the World Series. In addition to MLB, SU2C’s “Luminary” donors include Bristol-Myers Squibb, Lustgarten Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research, and Mastercard. “Visionary” donors include CVS Health; Genentech, a member of the Roche Group; and the Sidney Kimmel Foundation.
Additional major donors and collaborators include American Airlines, Merck, Rally Health, Inc., St. Baldrick’s Foundation, and Van Andel Research Institute. Other key supporters and collaborators include American Lung Association’s LUNG FORCE, Breast Cancer Research Foundation, Farrah Fawcett Foundation, Laura Ziskin Family Trust, LUNGevity Foundation, National Ovarian Cancer Coalition, Ovarian Cancer Research Fund Alliance, Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer and international collaborator Cancer Research UK.
During the telecast, when viewers used their Mastercard to donate through StandUpToCancer.org (US) and StandUpToCancer.ca (Canada) or by telephone, Mastercard matched those donations, dollar for dollar, totaling $1,000,000. In addition, for donations of $25 or more made online at StandUpToCancer.org/AmericanAirlines from September 3 through September 30, 2018, American Airlines will award 20 American Airlines AAdvantage miles for every dollar donated through the Miles To Stand Up program.
The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) worked with SU2C’s production team to ensure the accuracy of the scientific content of the show. “The AACR has been the proud Scientific Partner of Stand Up To Cancer since its inception in 2008,” said Margaret Foti, Ph.D., M.D. (hc), chief executive officer of the AACR. “In this vital role, we have provided valuable expertise and scientific oversight of grants that have included some of the world’s top cancer researchers who have created lifesaving advances for cancer patients.”
“The more than 1,500 scientists who conduct Stand Up’s research, the members of our Scientific Advisory Committee who guide that work, and the American Association for Cancer Research team that oversees the grants – they are our heroes. We were delighted to showcase how what they’re doing benefits people struggling with cancer through this telecast,” said SU2C CFA Member Kathleen Lobb.
The Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) are actively collaborating with SU2C Canada. CCS is also a collaborator in the inaugural Stand Up To Cancer Canada–Canadian Cancer Society Breast Cancer Dream Team, along with the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR). Collaborators in the inaugural Stand Up To Cancer Canada Cancer Stem Cell Dream Team include CIHR, Cancer Stem Cell Consortium, Genome Canada and OICR. AstraZeneca Canada and Mastercard are the first corporate supporters of SU2C Canada.
“All of us at Stand Up To Cancer are proud of our ten years of impact in the fight against cancer, and tremendously gratified by the response we received to the telecast and its hopeful message,” said CFA Member and Robertson Schwartz Agency Co-Founder Sue Schwartz. “While we are thrilled with all of the wonderful advances in new treatment benefits to patients, we are mindful of just how much more work there is to do until we accomplish our ultimate goal of turning every cancer patient into a long-term survivor.”