Cancer advocates are letting their hands do the talking on World Cancer Day 2016, and our employees are raising their hands as well to show support.
This year, organizers of the annual event are raising awareness of the global burden of cancer—which includes 14.1 million new cases diagnosed each year, a figure that is expected to increase to 19.3 million by 2025—through their “We Can. I Can.” campaign. The campaign asks supporters to write how they can help fight cancer—as a community or as an individual—on their hands and share their commitment on social media.
Since many Celgene employees and offices are participating in this campaign, we’d like to highlight some of our committed team members.
“I’ve really been impressed and moved by our company’s commitment to the World Cancer Day campaign,” Joel Beetsch, Vice President of Patient Advocacy at Celgene, said. “It really shows our company’s incredible dedication to cancer patients and the fight against cancer.”
As his own personal commitment, Beetsch pledged to always put patients first. “It’s a fundamental philosophy here at Celgene. We put patients first. That is the number one commitment of our department and our company.”
But his commitment to the fight against cancer goes beyond his work with patient advocacy groups. He takes it home with him as well. “I am teaching my kids about cancer, talking about what patients go through with neighbors in grocery store parking lots and getting involved in fundraisers for cancer research.”
Markus Renschler, MD
Markus Renschler, MD, Senior Vice President and Global Head of Hematology & Oncology Medical Affairs at Celgene, is responsible for all external clinical research. His team is charged with discovering new ways to test, combine and invest in cancer research that could benefit patients.
“I truly believe that we can improve cancer care through innovative research,” Renschler said. “What are the latest technologies? How can patients benefit from these treatments? How can we maximize the benefit for patients? These are the questions we think about day in and day out.”
Finding the answers requires a combination of thinking outside the box and taking risks, according to Dr. Renschler. “To get real breakthroughs in cancer treatment, you have to really innovate, constantly think about exploring new ideas and then you have to invest in clinical trials to test your ideas.”
Meanwhile, the EMEA Corporate Affairs team from the company’s European headquarters in Boudry, Switzerland was also excited to get involved in the campaign.
“We were in a team meeting when we learned about this important initiative and did not want to miss the opportunity to participate, so we immediately took the picture,” said Johanna Junod, communications specialist in corporate affairs at Celgene. “Even little actions—such as taking a photo to help raise awareness—can benefit patients.”
The group effort here reflects the importance of community efforts in the fight against cancer, which are emphasized in the “We Can. I Can.” campaign. “World Cancer Day 2016 is there to remind us that our mission as a community is not over yet,” Kevin Loth, Vice President, Corporate Affairs and Policy, EMEA at Celgene said. “I believe that we can and will one day defeat cancer, but we will only get there by working together.”