TV special raises $143 million to fight cancer

Wave Staff Report

LOS ANGELES — Stand Up To Cancer announced more than $143.18 million has been pledged collectively in connection with its seventh biennial roadblock televised fundraising special that aired on Aug. 21 in the U.S. and Canada.

Funding raised from the show as well as corporate, foundation and individual donors supports urgently needed research and breakthrough new treatments for cancer and public awareness campaigns.

Stand Up To Cancer’s biennial telecast, which was delayed by one year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, had a strong Hollywood feel.

It was co-executive produced by Academy Award-winning actress Reese Witherspoon and Jim Toth, a media industry entrepreneur and investor, who worked alongside the renowned live-event producing team Done + Dusted and Stand Up To Cancer’s production team.

Anthony Anderson, Ken Jeong and Tran Ho, and Sofia Vergara also joined as cohosts, along with Stand Up To Cancer co-founder Katie Couric, who appeared as a special guest.

“We are so appreciative of the generosity of the entertainment community, our board of directors, our corporate and foundation donors and the individuals who continue to show their support of Stand Up To Cancer,” said Sung Poblete, CEO of Stand Up To Cancer. “More than 1.8 million people in the U.S. are anticipated to be diagnosed with cancer in 2021, so it is critical that we come together and take action so that we can continue to accelerate the pace of groundbreaking new cancer therapies that reach patients quickly.”

The special aired simultaneously on more than 65 participating media platforms across the United States and Canada, including all four major broadcast networks in the U.S. Broadcasters that carried the show donated one hour of simultaneous commercial-free prime time.

The entire telecast also streamed on Stand Up To Cancer’s Facebook, YouTube, Twitch and TikTok channels. The show is available as video on demand on Hulu, Paramount+, Peacock, Prende TV, Prime Video, and Tubi, as well as on Stand Up To Cancer’s Facebook and YouTube channels.

Highlights of the show included a touching tribute to Chadwick Boseman by his wife Simone and host Anthony Anderson. Simone’s performance of “I’ll Be Seeing You” was a heartwarming commemoration of her late husband who passed away last year at the age of 43 after a private battle with colon cancer.

Other performances included a powerful rendition of “I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free” by Brittany Howard, and an inspiring performance of “Courageous” by Common with Stevie Wonder. The show also included inspirational stories and reflections from real-world patients and cancer researchers.

A new initiative by Stand Up To Cancer was announced by Sofia Vergara during the show.

Celebrities lending their support for this year’s fundraising special included Alison Sweeney, Bradley Cooper, Cecily Strong, Chandra Wilson, Ciara, Deon Cole, Ed Helms, Iliza Shlesinger, Italia Ricci, Jaime Camil, Jennifer Garner, Kate del Castillo, Matthew McConaughey, Max Greenfield, Michael Peña, MJ Rodriguez, Tony Hale, Tony and October Gonzalez.

Other notable celebrities, social media stars and streamers joined forces across social platforms to elevate cancer patient voices and highlight the importance of cancer research and fundraising, including Adam Devine, Alexandra Shipp, Allie, Allison Miller, Ana María Polo, Andy Cohen, Anna Akana, Anthony Hill, Arana Lemus, Aria Brooks, Ben Barnes, Bobby Berk, Borja Voces, Bree Turner, Brittany Perry-Russell and Isaiah Russell-Bailey, Brooklyn Queen, Cameron Mathison, Carrie Ann Inaba, Chef Yisus, Cheryl Burke, Chloé Lukasiak, Craig Melvin, Danny Trejo, Elena Shinohara, Ella, Emma Norton, Eric McCormack, Ethan Zohn, Frankie Grande, Gregory Zarian, Guy Fieri, Jesse Tyler FergusonJoe Manganiello, Jordana Brewster, Judy Greer, Kalen Allen, Karla Souza,  Kaylee Bryant, Kelsi Davies, Kent Boyd, Kyle MacLachlan, Lawrence Zarian, Leslie Jordan, Marc D’Amelio, Marcia Cross,  Marg Helgenberger, Matt and Abby Howard, Mayim Bialik, Michelle Galván, Migbelis Castellanos, My Nguyen, Neebs Gaming, Noelle and Noah SchnackyOdette Annable, Reggie Watts, Rhett & Link, Robbie Amell, SungWon Cho, Tiffani Thiessen, Tony Goldwyn, Tori Phantom and Uzo Aduba.

Stand Up To Cancer was established in 2008 and has raised over $746 million to date. Over the past 13 years, the organization has brought together more than 2,000 of the best scientists from more than 210 leading institutions to collaborate towards ending cancer’s reign as a leading cause of death worldwide. Stand Up To Cancer’s research has contributed to nine FDA approvals for new cancer therapies and 258 clinical trials treating more than 19,000 patients. Recognizing that improving cancer care is a critical need in medically underserved communities, Stand Up To Cancer began developing its Health Equity Initiative in 2017. The initiative aims to increase diverse enrollment in cancer clinical trials, fund innovative research that addresses cancer inequities, and raise awareness of the importance of cancer screenings.