· More than 50,000 virtual flags raised to honor loved ones and support cancer advocacy groups
· Charitable donations were awarded to Chris4Life Colon Cancer Foundation, Cancer Support Community and CancerCare for having the most flags raised on their behalf, recognizing their commitment to increasing awareness of Immuno-Oncology research
(New York, October 13, 2015) – Bristol-Myers Squibb today announced that more than 50,000 virtual flags have been raised by Americans across the country as part of the Ready. Raise. Rise. campaign, a program dedicated to raising awareness and educating the public about an exciting area of cancer research called Immuno-Oncology. Twenty-three cancer advocacy organizations participated with Bristol-Myers Squibb, along with two-time Emmy® award-winning actor Eric Stonestreet, of television's hit comedy "Modern Family," to launch Ready. Raise. Rise. in May.
The campaign encouraged people to visit ReadyRaiseRise.com to create a personalized, virtual flag to honor a loved one touched by cancer. Visitors could share the personalized flag on social media using the hashtag #RaiseYourFlag, and select a cancer advocacy organization they wished to support from among 23 participating groups. The more than 50,000 flags that have been raised as part of the campaign have helped generate increased attention to the field of Immuno-Oncology, an area of research that aims to harness the body's own immune system to help fight cancer. Education about Immuno-Oncology research is needed, as a survey that was conducted prior to the launch of the campaign found that only 15 percent of Americans were knowledgeable about this area of science.
"We are all too familiar with cancer and the impact it can have on families and friendships. We are deeply moved by the number of flags that have been raised to honor loved ones affected by cancer as part of the Ready. Raise. Rise. campaign," said Teresa Bitetti, senior vice president, Oncology, Bristol-Myers Squibb. "It is also inspiring to see the dedication the advocacy organizations have for raising awareness of cancer research, but more importantly, for supporting patients and families impacted by cancer. We are proud to give back to the cancer community and honor the 23 advocacy organizations who came together to help us educate about Immuno-Oncology research and pay tribute to those touched by cancer."
As part of the campaign, three organizations among the 23 groups have received a charitable donation from Bristol-Myers Squibb for having the most flags raised on their behalf. Chris4Life Colon Cancer Foundation, Cancer Support Community and CancerCare had a combined total of 40,862 flags raised in their name, and have received a donation of $75,000, $50,000 and $25,000, respectively.
"On behalf of the recipients, we are proud to accept this donation from Bristol-Myers Squibb and honored to have joined the company and Eric Stonestreet in this important initiative," said Michael Sapienza, Founder and President, Chris4Life Colon Cancer Foundation. "We were thrilled with the outpouring of support from the cancer community and appreciative of efforts by our members to recognize a loved one and spread knowledge about Immuno-Oncology, an area of cancer research that is providing a new sense of hope for those affected by cancer."
In 2015, the 23 participating advocacy organizations were:
· Addario Lung Cancer Foundation
· AIM at Melanoma
· American Brain Tumor Association
· Cancer Research Institute
· Cancer Support Community
· Chris4Life Colon Cancer Foundation
· Colon Cancer Alliance
· Debbie's Dream Foundation: Curing Stomach Cancer
· Fight Colorectal Cancer
· Free to Breathe
· Head and Neck Cancer Alliance
· Kidney Cancer Association
· The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
· Lung Cancer Alliance
· Lung Cancer Foundation of America
· Melanoma International Foundation
· Melanoma Research Alliance
· Melanoma Research Foundation
· Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation
· Skin Cancer Foundation
· Support for People with Oral and Head and Neck Cancer
· Stand Up To Cancer
Please visit www.ReadyRaiseRise.com to raise your flag to support a loved one and learn more about Immuno-Oncology research.
Immuno-Oncology at Bristol-Myers Squibb
Surgery, radiation, cytotoxic or targeted therapies have represented the mainstay of cancer treatment over the last several decades, but long-term survival and a positive quality of life have remained elusive for many patients with advanced disease.
To address this unmet medical need, Bristol-Myers Squibb is leading research in an innovative field of cancer research and treatment known as Immuno-Oncology, which involves agents whose primary mechanism is to work directly with the body's immune system to fight cancer. The company is exploring a variety of compounds and immunotherapeutic approaches for patients with different types of cancer, including researching the potential of combining Immuno-Oncology agents that target different pathways in the treatment of cancer.
Bristol-Myers Squibb is committed to advancing the science of Immuno-Oncology, with the goal of changing survival expectations and the way patients live with cancer.
About Bristol-Myers Squibb
Bristol-Myers Squibb is a global biopharmaceutical company whose mission is to discover, develop and deliver innovative medicines that help patients prevail over serious diseases. For more information about Bristol-Myers Squibb, visit www.bms.com, or follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/bmsnews.