Charley Gallay; Jon Kopaloff
This year’s Stand up to Cancer (SU2C) fundraising special recognized the organization’s progress over the last 15 years, including patient stories and scientific insights. US president Joe Biden and First Lady Dr Jill Biden appeared, along with celebrities Elizabeth Banks, Jessica Biel, Don Cheadle, Katie Couric, Danai Gurira, Tony Hale, Ken Jeong, Queen Latifah, Maria Menounos, Julianne Moore, Tig Notaro, Jimmy Smits, Eric Stonestreet and Justin Timberlake.
The shared stories included Emily Whitehead’s, the first pædiatric patient to receive CAR T-cell therapy at age 7 in 2012. She has remained cancer-free and is about to commence college. Kelly Spill was diagnosed with rectal cancer in 2019, but was treated to immunotherapy. Her tumour began to shrink and after nine cycles, it was gone completely. Kellie Smith was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 2018, and with a 24-cycle regimen of a targeted antibody, an immunomodulating drug, and a steroid, she found herself in remission in 2021. Her husband Yaphet Smith enrolled in S2UC’s Promise Study for healthy individuals with a higher risk of developing multiple myeloma, submitting a blood sample—and found he didn’t have the precursors for it. By participating, he helped S2UC understand the precursors and develop treatments for high-risk populations, including African Americans.
The telecast appeared on 55 participating media platforms in the US and Canada, including all four major US broadcast networks.
A montage from past shows featured Jack Black, Ben Falcone, Zach Galifianakis, Brad Garrett, Bill Hader, Jon Hamm, Kevin Hart, Ed Helms, Jay Leno, Melissa McCarthy, and Matthew McConaughey, while past musical performances featured Brittany Howard, Simone Ledward Boseman, Little Big Town and The Who.
Donations are still welcome at standuptocancer.org.