Monthly Archives: April 2013

Guest Blog: Why focus on Cancer this IDR Day?

Kate LeBoeuf is a Community Manager with the American Cancer Society. In addition to staffing the Relay For Life at Virginia Tech, she works throughout the New River Valley to connect newly diagnosed patients with programs and services designed to make treatment easier. Kate LeBoeuf will also be staffing the 2nd Cancer Research Symposium at Virginia Tech planned for Fall 2013. For more information about these events or how the American Cancer Society can help you, please call (540) 774-2716 or email


The American Cancer Society is the largest private funder of cancer research. When we make decisions about who to fund, we fund the research of sociologists who study disparities in diagnosis. We fund engineers who are developing new technologies for drug deliveries. We fund biologists working to understand the cancer cell. We fund psychologists studying late effects of cancer in children. But more than that, the American Cancer Society recruits social workers to help patients navigate health care systems. We recruit community members to help eliminate direct barriers between patients and treatment. We recruit lawyers to protect the rights of patients. We recruit lobbyists to expand the protection of patients. The soldiers in the fight against cancer are not the scientists. The fight against cancer requires the energy and attention of our entire nation and individuals from every discipline. Collaboration and determination will find the cure. This is how we save lives. And this is why the cancer focus of IDR Day is such an important step in including the entire academic community in a public health crisis that touches everyone. Innovative solutions come from fresh perspective and creative thinkers. The participants in this event possess both. It is our hope that exposing a wide variety of disciplines to these current cancer challenges will shed some real light on new solutions.