Former Vice President Joe Biden addressed a SXSW audience Sunday afternoon to talk about his revolutionary advancements in the fight against cancer. Hundreds waited several hours to hear Biden speak on the topic.
The former Vice President, who lost his own son to brain cancer, knows firsthand how devastating that fight can be. He said he will continue working to find ways to treat and prevent cancer under the new presidential administration.
“When you have someone you love, who gets, essentially a diagnosis that statistically at least is a death sentence in this particular cancer our son had, you go out and you learn everything you possibly can about it,” Biden said.
Biden said he did exactly that. With President Barack Obama's blessing, Biden started the Cancer Moonshot Initiative to find new treatment options to help save the 16 million people who die from cancer each year.
“Cancer never gives up, it never surrenders, and that's why we must use every discipline cancer does and we're starting to do that,” said Biden.
“My aunt died from cancer, other people in the family, extended family, are experiencing issues with cancer, I don't think there's anybody, if you go one degree, maybe two degrees, that doesn't have somebody that's affected by it,” said SXSW badge holder Andrew Coy who was at Biden’s event Sunday.
Biden told the crowd about advancements in cancer research and the ways he's been able to bring healthcare professionals together to further treatment options.
“It's my hope that this new administration, once it gets organized and I’m not being facetious, will be able to focus on, be as committed and enthusiastic as we were in the goal of ending cancer as we know it,” Biden said.
The former VP said he will do everything possible to work with politicians on both sides of the aisle to find a solution for those diagnosed with the disease.
“The only bipartisan thing left in America is the fight against cancer,” said Biden.
“It is one of the strongest nonpartisan issues there is. So cancer doesn't care who you are, what your political views are, and people on both sides of the aisles have lost so many individuals close to them, so this hits home, and let’s fight it, let's do something about it,” Coy said.
“End of the day, we're talking about human life here, and your political party, or whatever identity you have, doesn't matter when it comes to life. So, definitely, it should be something that anyone, from whatever background they're in, should support,” said Samantha Simunyu who was also at Biden’s event.
The former VP knows with 200 distinct forms of cancer it is an uphill battle, but it's one he said we need to win as quickly as possible.
“All of a sudden, there was a new hope, these disciplines coming together, I learned that we had to approach cancer at this moment with the urgency of now,” said Biden.
“This is not something that we should say, ‘Oh, we should solve some time,’ but why not solve it now?” Coy said.