In the few days since the election, I have spent much of my time wondering how to move forward.
What would I write to Secretary Clinton? How would I include Mr. Trump in Less Cancer's discourse? What do I want to say to these two distinctly different, but equally important individuals? I want both of them, and their constituencies, to realize there is much we can do together, especially around my core issue of preventing cancer.
Our mission at Less Cancer is to reduce the sharply escalating and preventable incidences of cancer through education and policy. As an organization, we look to a future of reducing rates of cancer, rather than a future slated for more cancer. How to address this issue to them?
I think the letters can read like this:
Dear Secretary Clinton,
In 1993 as a new father, it was not unusual for me to be reading Hillary Clinton updates to my newborn daughter and a couple of years later to my son. Your work has taken up the landscape of both my children's lives.
Throughout their youth, I would read to them about your plans, accomplishments, and even about those things that maybe did not go as planned. Your life was always proof that with a strong vision, hard work, and perseverance, anything is possible.
In our home, we never did the Sleeping Beauty or Cinderella stories. Keys to freedom did not look like waiting for a magic shoe, or a kiss from a handsome prince, but rather hard work, kindness, and collaboration.
Thanks to your pioneering advocacy for the next generation, we have a chance to build on the momentum you have created and protect our children and their futures from cancer. While we cannot protect everyone, we do have a responsibility to protect those who cannot protect themselves, such as children.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you for your many decades of public service and patriotism, but understand we need you now more than ever. Preventable cancers are expected to increase, and with your leadership, we could build on your accomplishments in health care and together change the landscape for a world with Less Cancer.
My note to Mr. Trump might look like this:
Dear Mr. Trump,
You are a father and a grandfather, and indeed have an interest in the next generations' future. You have dreams for America, and I am hopeful healthy futures will be a top priority.
While I do not know a lot about you, what I do know is that you have incredible tenacity.
We need you to lead on behalf or our children, and our children's children. We need our future generations to be healthy, and one of the easiest ways to accomplish this is by promoting preventative healthcare practices.
Science tells us that over half of all incidences of cancer are preventable. This is why in my work and the work of Less Cancer, we develop educational tools and policies to prevent the rising rates of cancer.
We know that when we work to prevent cancer, not only will the rates of this wicked disease decrease, but so will the excruciating costs of health care. For when we work to prevent cancer many other chronic illnesses are also addressed, such as obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.
Many times I have wished for the cure for cancer, in particular for those I have loved and lost. But through my work I have learned that the best way to cure cancer is to stop it before it starts.
I believe we can get the nation on the same page for protecting the health of our children, to secure healthy futures for the next generation. When business, civil society, and government can work together to safeguard the health of the public, our profits will go far beyond a tangible bottom line.
The time is now for our nation to join hands and to stand as one, especially as it relates to the next generation.
President-elect Trump, congratulations. Let's all work together for a world of Less Cancer.