Super-vember post 2: Modern day superheroes

by Risto Haljas @ 14.11.2017

Super-vember post 2: Modern day superheroes

Our second Supervember post is about real-life superheroes putting effort in helping humankind in the field of cancer.

Usually when we think about superheroes, some fictional character with a costume or abnormal abilities pops straight up to our minds. But what if we think of regular people and try to find those, whose acts could be defined as superheroes’ doings on levels that might seem supernatural to regular people?

Superheroes are the ones doing good to others without expecting to get anything back, and in this blog post we will take a peek at people who have put an effort into helping humankind in the field of cancer.

Philanthropy and charity can often be seen overlapping in many areas, both trying to solve some social problem, but the difference is in the perspective – philanthropy goes to the roots of the problem while charity is trying to ease the problem. Both practices are absolutely necessary to stand up to the challenges we face every day and in the future. This time we concentrate on philanthropists.

„The Wayne Foundation“

It may be a fictional holding company owned by Bruce Wayne or some might call him even Batman, but it is one of the most famous ones and it holds the logic behind the superhero and organizations related to him, so let us see how fiction turns into real action!

Daniel K. Ludwig – one of the earliest and biggest contributors in the history of cancer field. He was a shipping magnate, who established the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research already in 1971 and since its forming it has distributed over $2.5 billion around the world for cancer research. In year 2006 Ludwig Centers were created at six research centers in the U.S. and total funding until now to these institutions is $900 million.

Sean Parker – founder of Napster and co-founder of Facebook, founder and the President of the Parker Foundation announced in April 2016 that the foundation gave a $250 million grant to form the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy, which unites six cancer centers in the U.S. Read more here.

Sidney Kimmel – his goal is to donate $1 billion in his lifetime and by the looks what he has been doing he can’t be far from it. His Sidney Kimmel Foundation (founded in 1993) has been donating to different institutions – in 2001 the Sidney Kimmel Foundation for Cancer Research donated $150 million to Johns Hopkins University. In 2016, Kimmel and Michael R. Bloomberg (former mayor of New York City) and others donated to Johns Hopkins $125 million to establish the new Bloomberg-Kimmel Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy. He also has a scholarship program for the most promising researchers and scientists.

Phil Knight – Nike co-founder, who had donated with his wife to the cancer center at Oregon Health & Science University $100 million before year 2013, said that they would donate $500 million to OHSU if it would match fund-raising campaign within two years. History was made in 22 months.

Frank Lowy – one of the Australia’s best-known philanthropists, donated $10 million to establish the Lowy Cancer Research Centre – Australia’s only integrated childhood and adult cancer medical research institute (The University of New South Wales and Children’s Cancer institute joined forces).

Imran Khan – founder of the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Trust, which was behind the first cancer research institution in Pakistan.

But what if you are not „Bruce Wayne“? Do not let your heads down, there are other ways. For example, Cassidy McCarthy, a 6-year-old girl, has beaten cancer and now she is on a mission to help other kids with the supply of „kid“ bandages at the hospital. Or Amos who collected $130 for contributing to the National Foundation for Cancer Research in honor of his father’s successful battle with cancer.

The list of modern day superheroes can go on and on, but even this short sneak peek shows what people can do, even if they are not with us anymore. Whether they are in Pakistan, or they don’t have lots of zeros on their bank accounts (or even more if they do!), absolutely every step for helping out is incredibly important. And we will never have a perfect list of modern day superheroes, because there are so many of you out there and, hopefully, this list only gets longer. You might not have the ability to do the same as people mentioned above, but whether you are supporting children, parents, family, patients in treatment, research and making great science to fight cancer, or you fight the cancer yourself, you are already a superhero and you possess the greatest superpower – the will, kindness, and humanity.

Here’s where you can help out locally:

Donate to Estonian cancer societies | Toeta vähihaigeid lapsi Eestis: Eesti Vähihaigete Laste Vanemate Liit: Vähilapsed Vähiravifond Kingitud Elu *Lastefond

Donate to Finnish cancer societies | Lahjoita ja auta syöpälapsia Suomessa: Aamu Suomen Lasten Syöpäsäätiö Syöpäsäätiö Sylva Ry: Suomen Syöpäsairaiden Lasten ja Nuorten Hyväksi *Kympin Lapset: HYKSin lapsisyöpäpotilaiden vanhemmat ja ystävät (Kannatustuotteet verkkokaupasta)