Saturday, April 25, 2009

The Fight Against Cancer

Last night, I had the pleasure of participating in the annual dinner for the Masonic Cancer Center Fund hosted by the University of Minnesota. We celebrated over 50 years of the partnership between the Masonic Families of Minnesota and the University of Minnesota to first treat, and now defeat, cancer.

We celebrated the first project, where Minnesota Masons funded the construction of a 50-bed hospital to treat cancer patients in the 1950's, when treatment basically meant making a person comfortable in their final days. Since that auspicious beginning, Minnesota Masons have pledged or contributed over $100 million dollars, including $10 million for a soon-to-be-constructed oncology pavilion on the University campus, and $65 million over 15 years to found the Masonic Cancer Center at the University of Minnesota and set the audacious goal of curing cancer by 2025.

Two of my grandsons never knew their other Grandpa. He died of cancer before their dad and mom married. I look forward to the day when my grandchildren can tell their grandchildren about the old days, when the threat of cancer threatened their parents and grandparents. Which the partnership of the talented doctors and researchers of the Masonic Cancer Center at the University of Minnesota, and the Masonic families teamed up to defeat.