Century of milestones

Wednesday, May 22, 2013, is American Cancer Society Day in Michigan.

Gov. Rick Snyder has issued a proclamation honoring the American Cancer Society (originally named the American Society for the Control of Cancer), which was established on May 22, 1913 and has a century of milestones in the fight against cancer.

“The American Cancer Society has played a role in nearly every cancer research breakthrough in recent history,” says Nancy Yaw, Executive Vice President and Lakeshore Division Operating Officer for the American Cancer Society Lakeshore Division.

“Since 1913, we’ve helped save nearly 1.2 million lives. As the official sponsor of birthdays, we know how important each and every birthday is,” Yaw said in a statement.

The society has contributed to a 20 percent decline in cancer death rates in the United States since the early 1990s.

Today, two out of three people diagnosed with cancer are surviving for at least five years. As a result, more than 400 people a day are celebrating birthdays that otherwise would have been lost to the disease.

According to Yaw, even as the society marks this momentous milestone, the focus remains on the ambitious undertaking that still lies ahead – changing the statistics from two out of three people surviving cancer today in the U.S., to three out of three surviving.

“With the help of everyone in our community, we want to finish the fight,” Yaw says. “We’re determined to make this cancer’s last century. We’ve never been more ready to put the American Cancer Society out of business.”

The proclamation urges all citizens of our state to join together to Finish the Fight against this disease.

In recognition of the society’s 100th birthday, supporters have the opportunity to engage with the society through the following opportunities:

– Taking a Moment Against Silence: The society is using the historic milestone as an opportunity to encourage everyone to participate in a Moment Against Silence by pledging to do one thing to help finish the fight against cancer, such as making a donation, enrolling in the research study called Cancer Prevention Study-3 to help better understand how to prevent cancer, and making healthy choices to reduce cancer risk. Details will be available on on Wednesday.

– Reading 100 Stories of Hope: Continuing for the next 100 business days, the Society will feature an inspirational story about a cancer survivor, volunteer, researcher or other individual who is making noise and taking action to finish the fight. Visit 100 Stories of Hope on to read the profiles including stories on Michigan residents Dr. Randy Hillard of Lansing; Nancy Gargano of Stevensville; Cheri Ott of Plymouth; and John Forte of the Oxford/Lake Orion area.

– Starring in a print advertisement: Academy Award-winning actor Michael Douglas and NBC’s Hoda Kotb are featured in the Society’s advertising campaign commemorating the 100th birthday. They help drive people to take action by sharing a “life list,” which includes finding cures for cancer. You can star in your own “life list” advertisement. Visit the American Cancer Society’s Facebook page to create your “life list” and show the world what you’re fighting for.

– Lighting up social media profiles: You can now light up your profile picture on Facebook and/or Twitter to show that you are committed to helping the American Cancer Society finish the fight against cancer. For more information go to

For more information, to get help, or to join the fight, call us anytime, day or night, at 1-800-227-2345 or visit