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U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm spoke at the IAEA Ministerial's Rays of Hope event in Vienna, Austria, on Sept. 27.
She noted the pressure she feels in representing President Joe Biden as they discussed the Rays of Hope initiative since he lost a son to cancer, according to a news release of her remarks.
"Like many of you in this room, and at the General Conference, and all over the world, he knows all too well the pain that this disease brings," Granholm said in her remarks. "And I know that he is personally committed to doing everything in his power to protect people from experiencing more of that pain. Cancer is indiscriminate. It can strike anyone, in any part of the world, at any time. But it can also be fought, and it can be defeated."
She reported on the Cancer Moonshot initiative announced by Biden to assist with his goal of cutting cancer deaths in the U.S. by 50% over the next 25 years while simultaneously improving the quality of life for people fighting cancer, the release reported. She noted these goals align with the United Nations' goals of reducing early deaths from noncommunicable diseases such as cancer.
"Through Rays of Hope, we can bring together experts in healthcare, policy, security and development from all over the world and marshal the resources needed to improve and expand global access to crucial radiotherapy technology," Granholm said in the release. "And, just as the United States has contributed to PACT’s efforts since its inception in 2004, we are eager to contribute to the goals of this initiative in any way we can."
She asked all the attendees to pledge their support for the initiative's efforts to increase access to lifesaving treatments, according to the release.
"No matter what you can offer, your contributions will help make a real difference to millions of people around the world," Granholm said in her remarks. "I also encourage you to reach out, engage with experts and learn more about how you can help Rays of Hope take on the global cancer care gap. Cancer can strike anyone, in any part of the world, at any time. But together, we can help cancer patients everywhere strike back and beat this disease."