BOB DYLAN: Forever Young

About a month ago, a friend of Phawker forwarded a series of public service announcement YouTubes made by her uncle imploring the president to restore the cuts he has made to cancer research (SEE BELOW). The spots were made by an ad exec named Jerry Hunnicut (aka Uncle Jerry) and his son Matthew, who also works inwaroncancer.jpg advertising (if you have seen a Coke ad in the last few years, you have seen his work). Don’t know all the details, but Uncle Jerry was diagnosed with terminal cancer and told he had a year to live. More recently, Uncle Jerry’s doctors revised that down to a matter of months. With time running short, father and son threw themselves into working on this series of desperate entreaties to the president and sent them around to family, friends and co-workers and asked everyone who received them to do the same. We promised to run one on Phawker and then promptly forgot all about it. We just received word that Uncle Jerry passed away today. It’s in your hands now. Do the right thing.

RELATED: March 19 (Bloomberg) — President George W. Bush lauded the role of medical research as he announced a breakthrough in January: U.S. cancer deaths fell in 2004 for the second-straight year, the first back-to-back decline on record. Three weeks later, Bush asked Congress to trim $11 million from the National Cancer Institute budget, on top of $32 million in cuts over the previous two years.

Cancer.jpgAfter growing 80 percent from 1998 to 2003, the NCI budget is in decline, and trials on cancer drugs and therapies conducted by hospital networks are feeling the pinch. Officials at NCI, which funds half of all patient trials in the U.S., have told the networks they should trim operations, in some cases by 10 percent, say specialists who run the tests.

“There is no question that the impact of flat and declining budgets will be real and can be measured in terms of human life,” says Allen Lichter, chief executive officer of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, a physician group. “Some trials will not start. Existing trials will take longer to complete. These are devastating effects.” MORE


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