In 2013, Beau Biden, former Vice President Joe Biden’s son, was diagnosed with stage 4 glioblastoma. Beau was the attorney general of Delaware and served his country overseas in Iraq. As Joe put it, “Beau Biden was, quite simply, the finest man any of us have ever known.” In May 2015, Beau passed away at the age of 46. Since then, Joe Biden has dedicated his life to making strides in cancer research, diagnosis, treatment, and care.
The month of May is dedicated to brain cancer awareness. Brain cancer is less common than other forms of cancer (such as breast or lung cancer), yet it does affect a significant group of the U.S. population and it can be difficult to treat. It’s estimated that 15,000 Americans die every year from malignant brain and central nervous system tumors.
A glioblastoma, which is what Beau had, is a malignant, fast-growing brain or spinal tumor that is difficult to treat. It’s a mix of cell types and is supported by many blood vessels. The cause of brain cancer in general is still largely unknown, and there are over 120 different types of brain tumors.
Since brain cancer is less common and affects a smaller population than other cancers, there hasn’t been much brain cancer research. It’s more difficult to get participants for clinical trials and because of this, brain cancer is still a mystery to all of us.
Here at CSC, we believe in the impact of collaboration. In January 2016, former President Obama announced the Cancer Moonshot Initiative as a way to increase cancer research funding and accelerate discoveries. Joe Biden was asked to lead this initiative because of his personal experience with Beau’s brain cancer and his devotion to cancer progress. Cancer Support Community is a proud leading partner in Cancer Moonshot. This June, CSC is hosting Cancer Moonshot: One Year Later to measure progress and outline the next steps we can all take to continue advances in cancer discoveries.
At the CSC Spring Celebration on April 20, we honored Joe Biden and the Cancer Moonshot Team with the Founders Award for Vision. Biden and his team have worked tirelessly to inspire action and improve the future for everyone impacted by cancer. Thank you!
As Joe Biden said about CSC, “what you do more than any other organization in the world is you give a sense of hope.” If you are impacted by cancer, use our resources, in-person and online, to instill this sense of hope in yourself and your loved ones!
Check out the full video of Biden’s acceptance speech.
If you or someone you love needs help coping with a brain tumor, CSC can help. We partnered with the National Brain Tumor Society to create a Frankly Speaking About Cancer booklet all about brain cancer. This FSAC book outlines treatment options and provides information to help you understand brain cancer, manage side effects, and much more.