Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) and TV series ‘Modern Family’ star Eric Stonestreet are calling on anyone who has been affected by cancer to raise a virtual flag and share their support of those in the cancer community. The campaign, called “Ready. Raise. Rise.” was created as a social movement to honor cancer patients and patients’ caregivers, and provide financial support to advocacy organizations. It was created to encourage everyone to learn some more about immuno-oncology, this fast-changing area of research that harnesses the body’s own immune system to fight cancer.
“Immuno-Oncology is an innovative area of research that may be changing the way we approach cancer,” explained Bethlehem-based St. Luke’s Cancer Center’s Chief of Medical Oncology and Hematology, Sanjiv Agarwala, M.D. who is also Professor of Medicine at Temple University School of Medicine in Philadelphia. “I’m passionate about educating the cancer community about Immuno-Oncology research as it explores a different way to approach cancer treatment, and that may allow patients with advanced cancer the potential to lead longer lives.”
Nearly 50,000 flags were raised in 2015, inspired by this campaign. This year, BMS is sponsoring donations to all 23 participating cancer support groups, in the name of flag raisers. With over 32 million people living with some type of cancer worldwide, almost every family is affected, or has been, by this devastating disease.
Eric Stonestreet is supporting the second year of this campaign, joined by his mother, Jamey, who faced and fought cancer twice: “My mom has survived cancer twice, so I have personal reasons for standing with Ready. Raise. Rise. again this year – It gives me a chance to say how much I admire heroes like her, and at the same time it allows me to learn about promising research in the fight against cancer, like Immuno-Oncology. And participating in the campaign also supports cancer advocacy groups that are helping others like my mom,” commented Stonestreet in a press release. “So mom and I are asking you to be Ready to Raise a virtual flag and Rise in celebration of patients, caregivers and anyone else you know whose life is touched by cancer.”
Eric Stonestreet is now asking people around the globe to access the campaign’s website, ReadyRaiseRise.com, to share a flag for someone you know has had cancer affect their lives. For each person that raises a flag, one of 23 cancer advocacy organizations they wish to personally support receives a donation. To complete the donation, they then share their flag and support on social medial, under the hashtag #RaiseYourFlag. For each flag raised and shared, the organization you selected will receive a donation from BMS. The company will distribute a total of $150,000 in donations.
“Ready. Raise. Rise. continues to resonate with the cancer community, further motivating us to relentlessly pursue Immuno-Oncology research and make a difference for patients,” added Teresa Bitetti, who is BMS’ Senior Vice President of U.S. Oncology. “Our ultimate goal with Immuno-Oncology is to improve survival and quality of life for patients living with various types of cancer, and this program provides an inspiring platform to honor patients and caregivers in a meaningful way.”