Finding A Cure

In honor of all of those who have died and will die from colorectal cancer, I have established a research fund in my and my husband’s names in collaboration with the second largest colorectal cancer foundation in the country, Chris4Life Colon Cancer Foundation, to raise money for research into finding a cure for colorectal cancer.  The goal is to raise $1 million in a year.  I describe my intensely personal motivations for undertaking this fundraising commitment in depth in Shaping a Legacy.  Here, I will simply say that when I watch people die from this second deadliest of cancers, I feel a great rage for those people, as well as terror for myself given my Stage IV status (and the alarming odds of survival that come with that staging) and my children (who are at greater risk).  I cannot stand by and do nothing.  This is a global war against an enemy that remains an enigma, an enemy that will require all of mankind’s ingenuity to defeat.  This war will never end until there is a CURE, and there cannot be a cure unless there is funding for the required research.  Recommended screening age for colorectal cancer is 50.  Some advocates are trying to lower that age to 40.  I was 37 at diagnosis.  I know so many who were diagnosed under 40.  Screening can help some, but no, this war will not end until there is a cure.

Some important facts

  • Colorectal cancer is the second deadliest of all cancers in the United States (killing 50,000 people a year, second only to lung cancer).
  • Colorectal cancer is severely underfunded, both publicly and privately, in large part due to the stigma associated with discussing bowel function and the general lack of awareness about this disease.
  • While there are greater incidents of breast cancer each year, fewer people die because there are more treatment options, a product of the immense amounts of money that has been spent on breast cancer research.  Sadly, breast cancer has overshadowed many of the other cancers desperately in need of funding.
  • Colorectacl cancer is rising in the under 40 population at a rate of 2-3% per year.  Contrary to popular belief, colorectal cancer is not an “old man’s” disease.

Being the corporate lawyer that I am, I spent a lot of time considering with which of the handful of colorectal cancer organizations I would collaborate.  I inspected their missions statements, their track records, the members of their medical advisory committees.  There was only one organization with which I was impressed as far as a commitment to finding a cure, and that was the Chris4Life Colon Cancer Foundation.

Absolutely 100% of the proceeds donated to my fund will go to research.  Chris4Life has other fundraising sources to cover its administrative costs.  I will be involved in the oversight of how the fund’s money will be dispersed.

If you’d like to make a donation to the Julie Yip-Williams & Joshua R. Williams Research Fund, you can do so through this link.  There will also be a number of fundraisers for the fund, the first of which is being hosted by my law firm, Cleary Gottlieb, on September 10, 2014, which is open to members of the Cleary Gottlieb community.  Stay tuned for other fundraisers that will be open to everyone.  Thank you!

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Courtney Tollison Hartness
    Dec 22, 2014 @ 22:16:50

    Julie and Josh,
    Praying and thinking and feeling so much for you after reading this. Stay strong. Sending a big hug, Courtney

    Reply

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