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Rewarding Connections
Rewarding Connections

Tackling Cancer on Super Sunday

It’s Super Bowl week and as always, the storylines abound…will the Patriots’ legacy grow? Will Foles’s resurgence end in glory? Where’s Gronk post-gaming? This is what we love about sports: they force questions, then deliver answers in dramatic fashion.


The Super Bowl is the pinnacle of American pop culture. It’s an event packed not only with competitive importance, but with all the staples of an amazing party: music, eats, and the promise of lasting memories that will bond fans for a generation.


As a domestic marketing platform, the Game is arguably second to none. Campaigns take months – and in the cases of the biggest sponsors, the year – to prepare. Press devote entire sections to the ads alone, creating a marketing opportunity in which spots often generate the intended returns even before gameday.


But while football fever and the commensurate consumerism once again captivate our attention, I am reminded by my colleagues in the health sector that this year, Super Sunday happens to fall on World Cancer Day – an international observance designated by the Geneva-based Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) to significantly reduce illness and death caused by cancer.


Today I learned:

  • There will be 14M new cases of cancer this year. (That’s enough to fill U.S. Bank Stadium 210 times.)
  • There will be 8M deaths. (That’s almost twice the population of Minnesota.)
  • Between now and 2030, 70 percent of the projected cancer deaths will be suffered by low and middle-income countries.


World Cancer Day is a crucial moment in this fight. While most of us are celebrating, chowing, and cheering, courageous cancer advocates the world over remain steadfast in their missions – through rallies, conferences, and research endeavors of every sort and size – to help those who have been touched by cancer.


Here are a few of the movements being planned for World Cancer Day:


#NoHairSelfie. This is one of the most established and recognizable annual campaigns, a global call to action established by the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre in Toronto, in which “hairticipants” shave their heads either physically or virtually within an app to show solidarity for those undergoing cancer treatment.
GirlvsCancer, a London-based survivor community, will mark the day by launching “tit tees” – shirts intended to be worn by breast cancer patients and survivors to represent the breast or breasts that are affected.


And here in the American west, Seattle-based Cierra Sisters Inc., an African-American breast cancer survival and support organization founded by survivor Bridgette Hempstead, will host a panel of medical professionals for an open dialogue.


It’s important to note, too, that the Super Bowl has emerged as a platform for good causes as well. Water conservation and equal pay immediately spring to mind. And it will be interesting to see, with so many worthy causes gaining national momentum this year, which one will take center stage this Sunday.


I hope cancer is among them. For more information about World Cancer Day, please visit http://www.worldcancerday.org/

Ken Mandelkern / VP, Consumer
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