WASHINGTON--It wasnt all rhetoric and oration at The March. It
was also a time for reflection on loved ones lost and hope for the
future; a time to celebrate survivorship and bond in a way only
survivors understand; a time to learn more about cancer.
In a three-block-long part of the National Mall, people wandered from
booth to booth and event to event; children played; celebrities such
as model Cindy Crawford and football great Roosevelt (Rosey) Grier
mingled with the crowd; dancers, singers, and musicians performed;
and people remembered.
The Childrens Cancer Awareness Project unveiled its
Childrens Cancer Quilt, more than 40 panels made up of
individual 8.5-in × 8.5-in squares. The idea originated with
Tracey Clark of Columbia, Md, and Kathy Cales of Manning, SC--both
mothers of a child with cancer--to call attention to childhood
cancers. Each quilt square, assembled by a parent, sibling, relative,
or friend, stands "for a child who has been diagnosed with
cancer and his or her fight to stay alive," the project
At the Wall of Courage, people displayed mementos for those living
and dead whose lives have been touched by cancer. Drawings, poems,
and artificial and real flowers were hung in one of the most popular
attractions at The March.
While children attended soccer and basketball clinics, frolicked with
clowns, and negotiated an obstacle course, adults attended
2-hour-plus sessions of a public forum sponsored by the American
Association for Cancer Research (AACR) where experts--including
Martin D. Abeloff, MD, director of the Johns Hopkins Oncology Center,
and NCI director Richard D. Klausner, MD--discussed recent cancer
advances and fielded questions from the audience.
At some 100 booths along the Mall, people obtained information on
specific cancers and nutrition from advocacy and support groups;
learned about advances in chemotherapy from pharmaceutical firms; and
heard about complementary wellness therapies, including yoga and
Even during the rally, people roamed the booths and displays,
listening to speakers over powerful amplifiers and watching them on
giant TV screens.