Remarks as Prepared for Delivery by First Lady Jill Biden at Cancer Moonshot Event with the American Cancer Society and Special Guest Mary J. Blige
State Dining Room, The White House
Thank you, Karen. You bring a spirit of collaboration to this work that’s such an inspiration, and we’re grateful for you, and the American Cancer Society, for being such great partners over the years.
Mary, thank you for lending your powerful voice to this cause. Karen described a bright future, but in order to get there, we can’t leave anyone behind.
And Tamika— by telling your story, by joining us here, you are making women everywhere feel less alone, and helping ensure they can access the care they need.
There are certain words that have the power to make time stop. Malignant. Aggressive. Terminal. Cancer.
They can still the air around us—freeze our bodies in place, as we feel the world we knew slipping away.
In the span of a breath, a thousand questions fill our minds: What do I do? Who do I tell? How will I afford this? Will I be able to see my kids grow up?
In February, the President and I reignited the Cancer Moonshot with a bold ambition: to build a world where the word cancer forever loses its power.
We’re doing that by breaking down the barriers that hold back critical collaboration and research. We’re investing more money than ever before in new treatments and therapies, and making sure people can get the best, cutting-edge care sooner. And we’re creating better ways to help patients and their loved ones understand and navigate their care.
So, what does the world we’re building look like? It’s a world where people don’t have to face complicated care plans alone.
Where they don’t lose their life savings just trying to survive.
Where treatments are less toxic—and patients and the people who love them have the support they need to thrive.
Where a diagnosis is no longer a death sentence.
The Cancer Moonshot is about a future where we don’t have to be afraid of cancer anymore. And today, we are coming together to make that future real.
When Joe and I issued a call to action, the American Cancer Society answered by bringing this proven roundtable strategy to two diseases that have taken so many lives: breast and cervical cancer.
We are joined by doctors and scientists, business leaders and government officials, entertainers and professors. Why? Because it takes all of us, from hospitals to the National Football League, from academia to industry, working together, sharing our best ideas and resources.
Thanks in part to many people in this room, we now have a better understanding of how cancers develop, and we have more ways than ever to prevent, detect, and treat them.
Together, we’re going to make sure everyone has access to the screenings they need, so that they can catch cancer before it’s deadly.
We’re going to find the best way to help people get vaccines, screenings like mammograms and pap smears, and all of the care that they need—no matter their race, zip code, or background. And we’re going to come together to accelerate research so we can better treat these diseases and save more lives.
None of us can beat cancer alone, and it will take all of us putting patients and their loved ones at the center of their own cancer journey, from screenings to survivorship.
Yes, the word cancer still has the power to strike fear into our hearts. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Because we have power, too. More than we even know.
We’re going to create a world where we discover and dream our way past its paralysis: where we come together, as a united community, and rewrite the story that cancer tells.
Thank you for being a part of the future we’re building together. Thank you for helping us end cancer as we know it for good.