Through a number of presentations by world leaders, the inaugural day of the Summit was spent making the case for the urgent need to address the global cancer burden. I was blown away by the lineup of speakers, which included, but was not limited to: Dr. Wild, the director of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), Dr. Seffrin, CEO of the American Cancer Society, Dr. Hill, President of the UICC, as well as many ministers of health, former presidents, and one of my personal favorites, Dr. Sanjay Gupta. While the urgency of the global burden was an overriding theme throughout the presentations, the power of the minds and dedication of all the attendees, from the global leaders down to the community advocates, was equally present.
The afternoon included a very thought provoking session on corporate social responsibility including Mark Parker, Nike’s CEO, Jonathan Thomas, CEO of American Century Companies, as well as Caroline Roan, President of Pfizer. The moral obligation of corporate American to do its part in making a difference through philanthropic work rang clear. The statement that resonated most with me was Mark Parker’s, speaking of the Nike’s belief in the immense potential of the human being.
The highlight of my day (aside from it ending in a *true* Irish pub) was having the opportunity to begin a discussion with one of my ultimate idols, Dr. Paul Farmer, about the opportunities to combine my passions for global health and cancer in the developing setting. Picture to come soon! I look forward to his Summit address and the opportunity to further this discussion with him today. I feel so honored to be a part of this historical event.
Although the world is full of suffering, it is full also of the overcoming of it. Helen Keller