Princess Diana Helps Raise Over $1 Million for Cancer Research

July 1, 1996

CHICAGO--A visit by Her Royal Highness The Princess of Wales to the Lurie Cancer Center of Northwestern University raised more than $1 million to support cancer research and benefit patients (see photo ). The funds will go to the Lurie Cancer Center; Gilda's Club, a support group for cancer patients named for comedian Gilda Radner who died of ovarian cancer in 1989; and The Royal Marsden Hospital, London, of which The Princess is president.

CHICAGO--A visit by Her Royal Highness The Princess of Wales tothe Lurie Cancer Center of Northwestern University raised morethan $1 million to support cancer research and benefit patients(see photo ). The funds will go to the Lurie Cancer Center; Gilda'sClub, a support group for cancer patients named for comedian GildaRadner who died of ovarian cancer in 1989; and The Royal MarsdenHospital, London, of which The Princess is president.

During her visit, The Princess delivered the opening remarks atNorthwestern's inaugural Symposium on Breast Cancer (see box ).The program, chaired by Steven T. Rosen, MD, director of the LurieCancer Center, and Harry N. Beaty, MD, dean of Northwestern UniversityMedical School, was organized by V. Craig Jordan, PhD, directorof the Lurie's Breast Cancer Research Program, and supported byPEOPLEfirst, a fund-raising division of People magazine.

Speakers included Barbara Weber, MD, of the University of Pennsylvania,Linda Van Horn and Monica Morrow, MD, of Northwestern, Karen Antman,MD, of Columbia University, Dr.

Jordan, Nancy Brinker of The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation,and Bernadine Healy, MD, of The Ohio State University and formerNIH director.

Speech Presented By Her Royal Highness The Princess of Walesat Northwestern University

I would like to begin by expressing my sincere thanks for theinvitation to attend this symposium here in Chicago. It is a greatprivilege to be amongst some of the world's most eminent specialistsin the field of cancer and to share in this conference with you--andI can only repeat my thanks for the invitation.

Today is an important opportunity to draw the world's attentionto the disease, because there are few subjects which are morelikely to raise anxiety and fear than cancer--for some it remainsthe dreaded "C" word. Most of us have known people whohave suffered terribly at the hands of this disease. It seemsto strike out of nowhere, destroying lives almost at will, leavingdevastation in its wake. Amongst all the diseases cancer has,justifiably, the very worst reputation.

And yet in the midst of such negative circumstances there is,today, an amazing amount of hope; yes, hope. Ladies and Gentlemen,that hope is seated before our very eyes this morning. In so manyof the seats before me I see specialists who bring hope, pioneerswhose work will soon transform the lives of countless individualsbringing hope to those who might describe themselves as hopelesstoday.

The advances that have been made are quite staggering and, aswe know, research and development continue apace. As Presidentof The Royal Marsden Hospital and of its Cancer Fund, I have witnessedat first hand significant progress in the diagnosis, treatment,and management of patients which the hospital, in collaborationwith colleagues here, has achieved through the exchange of scientificknowledge and advances in the care and support of cancer patients.

But our work is not yet finished. And so I would suggest thatnow might be a good time to consider another "C" wordwhich may threaten us. It is the word complacency! And that iswhy this symposium is of such importance.

Whilst few of us may be able to pioneer a new form of surgeryor test a new drug, we can support those who do. We can raisemoney for research and work in other ways to ensure that the fightagainst this disease continues to press ahead.

A few years ago I read an article in which the writer suggestedthat working in the field of cancer might be a very depressingtask, since it mostly remains a terminal illness and continuesto take the lives of millions of people. At the time I could seethe logic of that writer's viewpoint. And yet he may have missedthe point.

It may not always be possible to provide the complete solutionto a patient's predicament--but does that mean we should giveup? Sometimes we may only be able to provide support and counsel--doesthat mean we have failed? I think not.

In just a few weeks' time this nation will be hosting the OlympicGames. Almost 90 years ago perhaps the most famous Olympian, Pierrede Coubertin, said these words in a speech in London. We mightponder them as we consider the subject of cancer.

He said: "The most important thing in life is not the victorybut the contest; the essential thing is not to have won but tohave fought well."

I wish you all the strength to continue in your most importantwork and promise that we will continue to support you.

Thank you.