Editor's note: Cheryl Davis is a long-time Lilly employee dedicated to oncology research. She started her career in patient safety monitoring, assessing the side effects of one of Lilly's chemotherapy drugs and reporting those findings to regulatory bodies around the world. These days, she works with cancer advocacy groups to ensure that people with cancer are supported with more than medicine. Cheryl was instrumental in securing the location of our second Hero's JourneyTM Art sculpture at the Cancer Support Community of Central Indiana and reflects here on her experience at the unveiling event held on August 4.
The Hero's JourneyTM Art project serves to honor the clinical trial community: the two million volunteers who help bring new treatments to patients, as well as caregivers, researchers, advocates and health care providers. And, while the project isn't just about people with cancer, the location of the second sculpture also offers a time to reflect on our long and ongoing commitment to cancer research. Lilly Oncology has been dedicated to delivering life-changing treatments and supporting those living with cancer for over 50 years. However, we cannot do so without our many meaningful connections with those in the cancer community.
Lilly Oncology’s long-standing relationship with the Cancer Support Community (CSC) of Central Indiana demonstrates the deep value of collaboration, as the oncology community works together to champion tomorrow’s innovative new medicines. Through relationships such as these, we are able to work with patients and advocates to understand, honor and act on the unique needs of those living with cancer. Right here in Indianapolis, we can work alongside groups such as CSC to raise awareness of the importance of clinical research to meet these needs. We continue to fight cancer as a community, from patients to advocates to researchers, in the hopes these efforts will give each person the opportunity to live a healthier, longer life.
What struck me most about the sculpture itself are the individual bricks. While they collectively represent the clinical trial community, each one represents a person who has been affected in some way by clinical research. Each image is a story to be shared, a life being lived. One of those stories is from Lynne, a clinical research participant who spoke at the unveiling. She talked about hope, faith and how she is forever grateful to those who volunteered for research before her, giving her the medication options available today. She also emphasized that we need more cancer research to continue to make advances against what is still, all too often, a deadly disease. Lynne's experience allowed us to see the immeasurable contribution each clinical trial volunteer makes and the cumulative value their participation creates for other patients. By experiencing each volunteer’s story through the Hero’s JourneyTM Art project, we can continue to honor those dedicated to fighting cancer together.
To learn more about the project, watch the unveiling of the first Hero’s JourneyTM Art sculpture, which took place at the LIVESTRONG headquarters in Austin, TX, earlier this year.