Today, May 22, marks the anniversary of the founding of the American Cancer Society. Back then, 10 doctors and 5 laypeople in New York City named the newly formed organization the American Society for the Control of Cancer (ASCC).
To celebrate 105 years of fighting cancer, we launched a Facebook Fundraiser in honor of our past, those we support in the present, and the opportunities of the future.
In an email to all staff and volunteers, CEO Gary Reedy wrote,
"Since our launch in 1913, we have accomplished so much in pursuit of our mission. We have a rich history of activism, thanks to movements like the Women's Field Army, which launched in 1936 to educate people about cancer and raise funds to save lives. Their work was the catalyst for our current cancer control and advocacy efforts led by the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, including our work around access to care, prevention, quality of life, and our leadership in the fight against tobacco, which has contributed to an incredible decline in smoking rates since the mid-1960s. In addition, our research program has led to lifesaving breakthroughs in our understanding of cancer, its causes, and how we treat it. Since 1946, we have invested more than $4.6 billion in research, funding 47 researchers who went on to win the Nobel Prize. Our research confirmed the connection between smoking and lung cancer, and has shed light on the cancer risk of other factors such as obesity, physical inactivity, alcohol, and red and processed meats. We have worked hard to build communities, through events like Relay For Life and support networks such as our Hope Lodge facilities. And we have a proven track record of providing direction to patients, caregivers, and providers, when and where they need it.
As I reflect on how far we have come, I am humbled by the legacy of those who came before us. With 1.5 million volunteers leading our efforts and the New ACS guiding our path forward, we are positioned to build on that incredible legacy in pursuit of our mission to save lives, celebrate lives, and lead the fight for a world without cancer.
Today, on our 105th anniversary, I hope you will take a moment to consider our impressive history – and let our predecessors' incredible accomplishments inspire your efforts to attack cancer from every angle. Thank you for all you do to support the fight."
For more history of the American Cancer Society, visit cancer.org.