03/23/2011 03:56 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Stand Up and Vote Yes to Save Lives

Three years ago, Stand Up To Cancer was little more than a dream, a bold idea shared by a few. We knew that cancer scientists finally had both the knowledge and the technology to make critical breakthroughs in detecting, treating and preventing cancer, but too often lacked the funds needed to bring new developments to fruition. Our goal was to raise money that would help speed up the pace at which scientific breakthroughs move from labs to clinics, where they can help patients and save lives, and to build a grassroots movement in support of that effort. Since our launch in 2008, thanks to all of you who have stood up with us, the collaborative "Dream Teams" of researchers that we fund have already made significant scientific progress, and the SU2C grassroots community continues to grow.

The California Cancer Research Act is proposed in the same spirit of conviction and possibility upon which SU2C was founded. It's that big belief in the power of collaborative leadership and common cause to foster and demand the results that will end cancer. That's one of the many reasons I'm proud to use this space to announce SU2C's endorsement of the California Cancer Research Act. Today, we at SU2C stand with CCRA and Californians for a cure for cancer and public health advocates throughout the state and across the nation. And if we hold the vote this June, as many expect, CCRA and the people of California will give new meaning to the words "special election."

The California Cancer Research Act is a statewide initiative that will yield substantial new investment resources for innovative, results-driven cancer research, accelerating development of therapies, treatments and cures to the direct benefit of cancer patients. Adding a single dollar to the cost of a single pack of cigarettes is all it takes to start making cancer history in California.

Each one of us in California, across America and around the world is likely to be affected by cancer in some form over the course of our lives. CCRA is not a political proposal or a partisan ploy. It's about saving lives. It's a call to action for all Californians to come together in common purpose; to stand up and be counted; to vote yes on CCRA and pass the California Cancer Research Act.

Voting yes on CCRA is a vote for cures. It's a vote for a brighter and healthier future for generations to come, a vote for creating thousands of vital new jobs, for saving billions of dollars in health care costs, a vote for keeping hundreds of thousands of kids safe from the ravages of smoking. Yes on CCRA is a new public mandate for progress against cancer as demanded by, of and for the people. In labs and doctor's offices, run/walks and telethons, and soon, in the voting booth: This is where the end of cancer begins.