NEW YORK, Nov. 16, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Bob Wright, former Vice Chairman of General Electric, Chairman of NBC Universal, and co-founder of Autism Speaks with his wife Suzanne, is now taking action in the fight against pancreatic cancer. Today, Wright announced the launch of The Suzanne Wright Foundation and its CodePurple campaign -- an initiative dedicated to increasing and accelerating pancreatic cancer research through awareness. Suzanne was diagnosed with the disease October 2015 and passed away nine months later.
"When Suzanne was diagnosed, we were shocked," said Bob Wright. "There are no screening tests for pancreatic cancer, so the disease went undetected until it metastasized. In the nine months that followed, we were stunned by the limited effective treatment options and very few clinical trials available to Suzanne and the thousands of other patients diagnosed every year. Pancreatic cancer is the only cancer that has not improved its survival rate since the United States declared "The War on Cancer" forty years ago. Ninety two percent of pancreatic patients die, and seventy one percent of patients die within the first year of diagnosis. We will leverage every resource in the cancer community so future patients won't be up against the same odds Suzanne faced."
In 2015, more than 53,000 people were diagnosed with the disease and over 42,000 people have died already. Despite having the highest mortality rate of all major cancers, pancreatic cancer receives only 2% of federal cancer research funding. Through increased awareness, The Suzanne Wright Foundation aims to grow the influence, resources, and public support for the broader pancreatic cancer community. The foundation will work with advocates and other organizations focused on pancreatic cancer, to bring the level of urgency and resources required to meet the devastating impact of this disease.
"The improvement in survival rates for breast, colon, prostate, and other cancers demonstrates how the power of awareness and focused funding can drive research and save lives," said Liz Feld, President of The Suzanne Wright Foundation. "CodePurple will give voice to the over one million families who have lost a loved one to pancreatic cancer in the last twenty years."
Bob Wright brings over 40 years of executive and philanthropic leadership to the fight against pancreatic cancer. During his tenure at NBC, Wright revolutionized network television, launching CNBC and MSNBC, and transforming the network into a media giant. Autism Speaks raised nearly $600 million under his leadership, and launched MSSNG, a historic genome project with google that created the world's largest open-source DNA database. Liz Feld served as the President of Autism Speaks from 2012-2016. She was the Mayor of the Village of Larchmont, NY and has worked in public policy, politics and communications. They are working with BBDO New York to create a pro-bono integrated campaign for CodePurple, inspired by the story of Suzanne and the stories of survivors and families affected by pancreatic cancer.
To learn more about The Suzanne Wright Foundation and CodePurple, please visit: www.CodePurpleNow.org.
SOURCE The Suzanne Wright Foundation