Bigger and bolder: Second Life Stands Up 2 Cancer 2015

logo-2Across four days between Thursday September 4th and Sunday September 7th in 2014, musicians and DJs from across Second Life and around the world came together under the banner SL Music Races for a Cure in order to raise money for Stand Up to Cancer (SU2C).

The brainchild of key organiser Still Braveheart, SL Music Races for a Cure was an outstanding success: L$ 1.5 million raised over the course of the four days of the event, with donations continuing after core activities had finished. All of the money was donated to SU2C’s work in accelerating the pace of cancer research and the development of effective treatments.

This year, Second Life Stands Up to Cancer is back, with an even bigger, bolder vision, and with Still once again helming the organising efforts.

2015 will see more than 150 performers, DJs and tribute bands performing at over 40 venues across Second Life between Saturday, September 12th and Sunday, September 27th, 2015, all with the aim of raising funds for Stan Up to Cancer’s international activities.

Obviously, with so many performers and venues participating, listing them in a blog like this is impossible – so do please keep a track of the SU2C in SL event schedule on Google, and via Stills’ own blog, which will have daily events, times and LMs to venues as things get under-way, as well as all the very latest news.

Stills' own Bring and Friend will be one of the venues headlining 2015's SL SU2C events
Still’ own Bring a Friend & Stay Awhile will be one of 40+ venues supporting 2015’s SL SU2C events

Founded in the United States in 2008 as a non-profit organisation run under the auspices of the Entertainment Industry Foundation, Stand Up to Cancer was specifically established to raise funds to accelerate the pace of ground-breaking translational cancer research that can get new cancer therapies to patients quickly.

The organisation takes an innovative  approach to ending cancer by focusing on forming “dream teams” of doctors and researchers who are directly involved in leading-edge cancer research and treatment, and then undertaking aggressive research programmes (see the video at the end of this article for more on this). 100% of all donations made through SU2C goes directly into funding cancer research and treatment and paying for these teams; none is lost to “administrative costs” or put aside for CEO or executive salaries, etc.

Such is the success of this approach that as of 2014, and in the USA alone, SU2C has raised over $261 million in seven years. This money has all be used in directly supporting 141 clinical trials of possible cancer treatments, involving 750 scientists and 5,000 cancer patients, and which have spanned 112 US institutions.

It is this remarkable capability which led to an article in the Huffington Post’s Impact section to refer to SU2C as one of  3 Cancer Research Accelerators Worth Watching.

Lemmonrock Cafe, another of the 40+ venues supporting 2015's SL SU2C events
Lemmonrock Cafe, another of the 40+ venues supporting 2015’s SL SU2C events

Since its inception, SU2C has gained international support as well, with other countries establishing their own SU2C movements. Both Canada and the United Kingdom, for example, are fully engaged in SU2C’s work, with other countries also offering support and promotion.

In recognition of SU2C’s international scale and the direct involvement of Canada, the UK and the USA in spearheading efforts, all monies raised during the Second Life Stands Up to Cancer events will be evenly split between SU2C’s work in these three countries.

Also, in what is quite possibly a first for Second Life, all of the SU2C venues will have special kiosks available which will allow Canadian, UK and US SL residents to make donations directly to the SU2C work in their own country, via links to the SL SU2C Team web pages (UK and US) and the main SU2C Canada website.

What’s more, because the direct donations to SU2C UK and SU2C USA are going through the SL SU2C Team pages, the amounts donated this way can be added to the total amount raised through in-world donations, presenting a clearer picture of how much was raised for SU2C through the activities and generosity of Second Life residents.

Second Life Stands Up to Cancer is shaping-up to be another extraordinary event, one that I hope to be bringing further news and updates about as the dates approach, as well as looking forward to catching at least some of the performers and shows.  So, mark September 12th through 27th in your diary and calendar, and get ready to Stand Up to Cancer, because this is where the end of cancer begins.

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