Sadly, cancer touches almost all of us in some shape or form. An estimated 1.7 million people were diagnosed with cancer in America last year, and almost 600,000 people died from the disease, according to the National Cancer Institute. 

Unfortunately, this is nothing new. Back in 1946, the iconic sportswriter and journalist Damon Runyon passed away from throat cancer, but his amazing life's stories were transformed into the Broadway hit Guys and Dolls.

Back then, his friend, radio broadcaster Walter Winchell, went on the airwaves shortly after Runyon's death to implore "Mr. and Mrs. America" to send anything they could spare to fight cancer, and the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation was born.

The foundation's goal is to help fund the research of young scientists. Since 1946, the group has invested more than $355 million in more than 3,700 exceptional scientists. One of them was Yung S. Lie, PhD. Today, she's the first scientist and Damon Runyon alumna to ever lead the organization.

Damon Runyon researchers have made extraordinary breakthroughs in every area of cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment and focus on the next generation of emerging researchers who have unique insights.

We got to spend time with Dr. Lie and talked about the foundation, her journey and how immunotherapy is a huge focus at the foundation. That's a treatment that uses certain parts of a person's immune system to fight diseases such as cancer. Companies like Merck (MRK) , Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY) , Gilead Sciences (GLD) , and Amgen (AMGN) are all investing heavily in it.

You can listen to our interview above -- and if you want to help, you can do so by simply going to a show. That's because the foundation's work is paid for through a combination of its endowment fund and the Damon Runyon Broadway Tickets program.

Under the ticketing program, 100% of your donation will go to support cancer research and you'll get great seats to a Broadway show. That's a win/win for everyone.

(This item has been updated.)

 

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