A Periodical for the Sarcoma Community

Editorial - June 2008

Someone has always been there to do what needs to be done

The 2008 Team Sarcoma Initiative is an internationally coordinated set of events to raise awareness of sarcoma and raise funds to support sarcoma research, clinical trials, and patient and family services. It has required thousands of hours of work over the last year to form the teams and plan the 50+ events that currently will be held during July 12-20, 2008 that make up the 2008 International Sarcoma Awareness Week. There are scores of sarcoma patients, caregivers, survivors, families who have lost a loved one to sarcoma, oncologists, nurses and others from all over the globe who have reached out a hand to help. They have done this amid very busy schedules, while receiving treatments, and during the day to day effort to cope because they lost someone to this wretched disease.

Most of the work of the 2008 Initiative goes on behind the scenes. Some people helped form one of the 50 teams that are now in place, some took responsibility for the logistics of one of the more than 50 Team Sarcoma events, some made flyers, some prepared press and media releases, some made packets of materials that will be handed at at these events, some people participated in making the translations of "A Forgotten Cancer" into eight different languages (Chinese, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Polish and Spanish) — the list of things to do goes on in an endless list. But, someone has always been there to do what needs to be done. Everyone who has helped, has made a difference. All have shared the common vision of increasing awareness of sarcoma internationally.

There are teams in Australia, Austria, Canada, China, Denmark, Germany, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and 18 states in the United States, making the 2008 Initiative truly "An International Sarcoma Awareness Week". The "core" Team Sarcoma participants, who will ride and walk along the Danube River from Passau, Germany to Vienna, Austria, are a microcosm of the overall event — they are coming from 12 different countries as well as 10 states in the United states and represent 10 sub-types of sarcoma.

There is still much to be done before, during and after July 12-20. However, looking back over the past year, I am compelled to say "thank you for everything you have done" to everyone involved in this Initiative before July. The work they have done and the events planned so far lead me to project that we have a reasonably good chance of reaching our goal of having 5,000 people participating worldwide in the 2008 Team Sarcoma Initiative. As is stated in A Forgotten Cancer, "Can you imagine our impact if we'd have 10,000?"

Come join us. Visit the Team Sarcoma website to locate an event you can participate in. Be one of the voices that will be be heard!