Thursday, September 9, 2010

Stand Up To Cancer Telethon

Cancer is an equal opportunity disease. Every race, color, gender and age is susceptible to the more than 100 different types of cancer that have been identified. Cancer doesn't care if you're rich and famous or poor and unknown. It can strike at any time. And even if you catch it early and receive proper medical treatment, cancer may still kill you.

According to the American Cancer Society, about 11 million people in the United States have had some type of cancer. Every minute, one person dies from the disease. Research to find a cure -- or better treatments options -- is ongoing, but more funds are needed.

On Friday night, The Stand Up to Cancer telethon hopes to raise those funds. Hosted by Katie Couric, Diane Sawyer and Brian Williams, the star-studded event will run simultaneously on ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC and more than a dozen cable stations, in the hopes of reaching the largest audience.

The first Stand Up to Cancer telethon, which was broadcast in 2008, raised over $100 million. This year's event aims to exceed that amount. A large group of celebrities are slated to appear on the program and help run the phone bank, including Lance Armstrong, George Clooney, Will Smith, Gwyneth Paltrow, Christina Applegate, Fran Drescher, Elizabeth Edwards, Michael C. Hall, Sharon Osbourne, Maura Tierney, Denzel Washington, Renee Zellweger, Kathy Bates, Richard Branson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and many others. The show will also feature musical performances by Stevie Wonder, Queen Latifah, Martina McBride, Neil Diamond and Herbie Hancock.

"On Sept. 10, we'll send a resounding message: We can cure cancer. It's going to take guts, brains and the ongoing support of the public, but we can do this," Laura Ziskin, a Hollywood producer and cancer survivor, said.