When I was young, it tore me up to see people sick with cancer and it still does. So in 2004 I founded Next Generation Choices Foundation, now known as Less Cancer, because I wanted to see cancer stopped before it had started. And while our overall goal may seem naive or even obvious to some, we rely upon the best evidenced-based science in cancer prevention. My vision was to prevent suffering altogether, not focusing on treatments but rather eliminating cancer once and for all. In fact, we can prevent cancer.
To help support our work we have an event: Split the Mitt, a 300 plus-mile bike ride that cuts across the state of Michigan, June 25th and 26th from the Fisher Building in Downtown to Detroit to the Perry Hotel in Petoskey. This is our fourth year, and we are happy to have a dedicated crew of riders and support staff. They are supporting our important work and we want to reach out to others who can support our efforts to educate the public and legislators about the science and medicine for preventing cancer.
The dedication and the support gathered as a result of the Less Cancer cyclists we can accomplish the work that protects you, your family and community.
We are founders of National Cancer Prevention Day and the Cancer Prevention Panel on Capitol Hill, at which we connect legislators with scientists and physicians so that they can do their jobs better at advocating for the public. As initiators of the U.S.Congressional Cancer Prevention Caucus, we have strong, bi-partisan allies who understand the science endorsing our goal for ending cancer once and for all.
Science indicates that more that half of all cancers are preventable. We know that many things do cause cancer which we cannot prevent, but when it comes to a holistic approach, lifestyle, diet, and environmental factors, much can be accomplished. Education about these factors is one step in the right direction for preventing cancer.
Our work has touched on many things to raise the bar on protecting the environment and human health. Since our founding we have seen our influence in everything from the booming organic food market to shaping legislation that addresses specific issues like banning indoor tanning to minors.
Our work for me is critical because we have a chance of not just extending life but saving lives altogether. My personal motivation is to end suffering. Our model is unique because we are not supported by the cancer treatment industry, or those wealthy organizations that have had a hand in creating cancer risks for the public. We rely solely on the good deeds of the public. While we often partner with a wide range of organizations and private entities, we are not taking money from them. Many sacrafices happen in the name of Less Cancer. We need to know that those bike riders in Split the Mitt are not alone in raising awareness and funds.
Those men and women do the impossible so that we may continue our good work. They have caught the attention of legislators in localities across the country to legislators on Capitol Hill. They have helped to raise funds so we may stay on top of the issues that presents as risks for cancer.
Less Cancer cannot do it all, we are interested in the piece of the pie that addresses the preventable cancers, addressing what is in our reach to change. Certainly we all want cures, treatments that will allow us to achieve full remission; however, it is just not that simple. God knows I have wanted the cure for so many I have loved and lost. So what we can do is adress the low hanging fruit of simple prevention.
We can only move forward with your help and we need much help in time, talent and treasure. Supporting the Less Cancer cyclists as they forge north in Michigan will be a help in sustaining our work.
Our eye is on a future where cancer is a thing of the past -- not something we can live with but rather something we never live with. The vision is for our children and their children to see cancer as not an expected stage of life but rather something from a tragic time in history.
This post is part of a series produced by The Huffington Post and lesscancer.org, in conjunction with the "Split the Mitt" Bike Ride June 25 and 26, 2016. The ride goes from Detroit to Petoskey, Michigan. Less Cancer was founded in 2004 under its official name of Next Generation Choices Foundation with the mission of reducing incidences of cancer. The organization does its work by addressing preventable cancers through education about lifestyle and the environment and works to support policies that protect the public. The organization is the founder of National Cancer Prevention Day and it's panel on Capitol Hill connecting science to policy makers, and initiated the first-ever Congressional Cancer Prevention Caucus. For more information, please visit lesscancer.org.