Purdue, country join together to fight cancer

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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — President Barack Obama made it a mission to end cancer by implementing Cancer Moonshot in his final State of the Union address.

That initiative kicked off Wednesday with hundreds of Cancer Moonshot summits around the country, including one at Purdue University.

The goal of making a decade worth of cancer research advances in just five years may seem impossible. But Cancer Moonshot, which aims to compare the feat of curing cancer, is taking place at Purdue.

The Cancer Moonshot summit is different because its goal is to generate conversations between people with all sorts of backgrounds and insights relative to cancer research.

Purdue Cancer Research Center director Timothy Ratliff believes a cure is on the horizon.

“The Moonshot is a great initiative. We are like climbing the mountain, you know? We can see the peak,” Ratliff said. “We have all this neat technology that’s available to us, and the initiative is just prime to push us over the top, so we can really begin to get things done.”

Another speaker at the summit was famous astronaut and Purdue University alumnus David Wolf.

“Like the [first] moonshot, this is bigger than any one person, any group, any organization,” said Wolf. “And this is the power we have to bring to solve this problem. Cancer has to be beat.”

In the end, Wolf and Ratliff know getting to the moon was huge but hope curing cancer tops the moon.

“I look forward to the day where that vanishes in importance to what we are doing here for the Moonshot for Cancer,” said Wolf.

Ratliff said, “We want this initiative to be very successful and we want to be a major part of it. And we want it to stand beside landing on the moon as one of the most successful initiatives in our country.”

In January, President Obama signed a memorandum that gave $1 billion to help get the Cancer Moonshot up and running.

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