Stand Up To Cancer

JAN/FEB 2012: ISSUE 21

According to "Success Magazine", Rusty Robertson is one of the most successful entrepreneurs in America. She has won many accolades for her work in marketing, advertising, and public relations. Through her philanthropic associations she has raised over $200 million dollars.


Rusty is a co-founder of Stand Up To Cancer, a cutting edge research fund that is focused on finding a cure for the number-one killer in the United States: cancer.  To draw attention to her cause, she co-produced Stand Up To Cancer’s two history-making televised events uniting the major television networks, celebrities, and prominent leaders in cancer research and patient advocacy. “It is crucial we bring issues like cancer to the a way that will ignite and activate,” Rusty states.


Her journey is a personal one. When her mother passed away suddenly from undetected cancer, she was galvanized to do something. Rusty met with a cancer specialist who explained to her the intersection of molecular biology and technology. She focused on getting leading scientists talking with doctors through Stand Up To Cancer so that more lives are saved. Rusty sums it up best, “Surround yourself with people that feed your soul, and drive your passion.”


Helping feed the Rusty's passion is a man who encompasses the very definition of the word trailblazer: Sir Richard Branson.  He’s an innovator, a pioneer who boldly blazes his own path with fire and passion.  The seemingly fearless Branson, under the umbrella of the Virgin Group, owns over 400 companies worldwide including his non-profit foundation Virgin Unite.


Branson saw a unique opportunity to join forces with another trail blazing organization - Stand Up To Cancer.  Together they aimed to take raising money and awareness to new heights, literally. Virgin America passengers would be given the opportunity to donate to SU2C through their inflight entertainment system, right from their seat and in midair.  Virgin America has also initiated a series of online promotions to encourage donations from the ground.


Laura Ziskin, the late Co-founder of SU2C said of Branson and the venture “There were those on our team who thought the public wouldn’t be interested. Why donate to cancer just because an airline asks you to?  Yet, since September, we have received tens of thousands of dollars for innovative cancer research projects from passengers, crew and Virgin America “teammates” who have engaged in Virgin America’s pledge to fight cancer. This is just the start of Sir Richard’s plans to combat cancer from 35,000 feet -- he wants to name planes, donate portions of sales, and maybe host benefits from the sky. He has an idea a minute, and they are usually extraordinary. “   Perhaps this is because Sir Richard Branson is extraordinary.






Heather Carter



Courtesy of Featured Organization


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