One Day Is Not Enough

Today’s post is a wrap-up of activities highlighting activities from across the globe during last week’s World Cancer Day. A version of this post, written by my colleague Amy O'Connor, originally appeared on LillyPad US.

If last week was any indicator, it’s clear that we are at the beginning of a global movement. The unifying cause? The fight against cancer. The numbers show that this collaboration could not come soon enough, as according to the Union for International Cancer Control, cancer will take more than 8 million lives worldwide this year alone.

On Thursday, February 4th, millions of advocates from countries around the globe came together to commemorate World Cancer Day. Many participated in the Talking Hands campaign, or shared their perspective using the hashtag#WeCanICan, including us here at Lilly.

Making life better for the millions of people who have already received a diagnosis, or are currently on their own cancer journey, is part of our day to day jobs. But this year, in honor of World Cancer Day, many of my colleagues, and some of our partners from around the world shared their stories and perspectives:

We Talked With Our Hands. As Lilly’s Senior Vice President and President of Oncology, Dr. Sue Mahony said in her guest post, "If I asked each person in the world who was ever touched by cancer to raise his or her hand, it would probably block the sun." And as part of this year's talking hands theme, many of us took action into our own hands. Literally.

We Continued The Fight. If we want to see progress in the fight, we need to continue to innovate. In Spain, our colleagues shared a post from an employee in our Alcobendas research facility, highlighting the crucial role that public-private partnerships will play as we seek to develop new treatments.

We Explored Our Legacy, and the Future of Progress. However, as our colleagues in France pointed out, we’ve been at this work for a while, and our commitment to creating a healthier tomorrow for people with cancer, and their caregivers, remains unshaken.

We Reflected On The Reality Behind These Numbers. In Canada, where cancer stands as the leading cause of death, my LillyPadCA counterpart embraced the value of discovery. Meanwhile, here in Indianapolis, brave souls like Carrie Fisher shared their personal journey as they prepare to start a new chapter of their lives thanks to a trip to India.

We Aimed For The Moon. And in the United States, we reminded ourselves of Vice President Biden’s newest mission to turn a “moonshot” into a cure for cancer.

The powerful stories we heard last week are merely a sample. There are enough stories from people whose lives have been forever shaped by cancer to fill thousands of years worth of days. But on this one day, every year, we reflect and we shore up hope for the future of our fight against cancer.