Categorized | Health

American Cancer Society: 100 years of hope


After a century spent fighting one of the humanity’s most frightening diseases, the American Cancer Society, which celebrates its 100th birthday this year, can point to many land- mark achievements, including research grants totaling more than $3.8 billion since 1946 and support for the work of forty-six Nobel Prize winning scientists in their search for a cure.

“What ACS has accomplished in its long history is remarkable,” said Maile Lincoln-Carvalho, Community Manager of Income Development, ACS-Hawaii Island, “especially considering that the bulk of the work is done by volunteers. On Hawaii Island, there isn’t a single community that hasn’t been affected by the disease nor is there one that hasn’t responded generously to our appeals for financial donations and kokua. We’re constantly humbled by the sacrifices our supporters make to help us.”

Established in 1913 by concerned physicians and business leaders in New York City, the American Cancer Society is now represented by 4 million volunteers in 5,100 communities nationwide and is the leading resource for cancer research funding, patient support and grassroots advocacy worldwide.

One of the American Cancer Society’s most public successes has been its decades-long campaign against smoking, beginning with the Surgeon General’s report in 1960s which linked cigarette smoking and lung cancer.

Today’s no-smoking laws, which affect more than 79 percent of the U.S. population, are a direct result of the Society’s work to save and protect lives by eliminating known causes of the disease. Less well-known but just as important are the daily support services provided to cancer patients and their families.

“The key word for us is ‘hope’,” said Carvalho. “Hope has made cancer survival possible for more than 12 mil- lion people in the United States alone. And hope for a cure fuels our work every day.”

The Society’s achievements are the result of individual and corporate donors and underwriters who make continuing its work possible, Carvalho said.

The money raised supports the Society’s services, which have expanded dramatically in the past 100 years and now include everything from helping people get well and stay well to funding research and urging the passage of legislation that supports the needs of cancer patients and survivors.

“The cure for cancer will be found,” Carvalho said. “Our goal is to finish this fight and find a cure in this century.”

For more information about the American Cancer Society – Hawaii Island, to request help or to make a contribution to the Society’s work, call 935-0025 or visit:

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