About 50 people joined us on campus to watch the broadcast of Vice President Joe Biden’s address from the National Cancer Moonshot Summit in Washington, D.C.

In his remarks, the vice president said he was charged by President Obama to lead the national initiative, which aims to “make a decade’s worth of progress in the next five years.”


U.S. Congressman Brad Ashford, Laurie Petty, constituent services representative for U.S. Sen. Deb Fischer, and cancer survivor Angela Turner, who was a patient at the medical center, were guests at the event, which also included representatives from the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, Inc., and The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.




“You guys,” the vice president said, addressing those taking part in the fight against cancer, “need to figure out how to get in each other’s way more.” In other words, collaborate.

That’s the very spirit of the Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center, said Kenneth Cowan, M.D., Ph.D., the center’s director, in his remarks.

“The facility was designed to accommodate space where patients will be seen by everybody,” Dr. Cowan said. As in, literally seen, so everyone who works at the center will have a shared sense of purpose.

“The team includes everybody,” Dr. Cowan said.

Turner, a cancer survivor, agreed, expressing thanks to everyone from Dr. James Armitage, who had given her his home phone number, to anyone who held any role at the medical center. Though she said she is normally a strong person, she was openly emotional when talking about what a cancer diagnosis means to anyone with kids.

She agreed with the spirit of the Moonshot initiative, especially Biden’s call for a greater sense of urgency.

“Why wait?” she said. “Let’s do this right now. People don’t have time.”