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Ron Cruger
The death of cancer
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            It was in April of the year 2019 that the President’s wife had gone for her annual physical. Two days after the physical the doctor called the President’s wife and said, “I’m so sorry to have to tell you that we have detected a lump in your breast and it could be malignant.” The doctor explained that they would want to perform immediate surgery, followed by chemotherapy and radiation treatments.
           The President and his wife were stunned. After all, she had lived a remarkably healthy life. Good diet, little red meat, regular exercise, self-examinations weekly. There was a history of cancer in her family. Her aunt and two cousins had died of cancer. The doctors were watching her father’s prostate as it was showing signs of the disease.
          Across the globe, the President of Russia had just attended the funeral of his older brother, Dmitri, who had died just four days ago of lung cancer.
          The President of France emerged from a three week stay in his country’s leading cancer clinic, being treated for the initial stages of melanoma – which had begun three months ago when his wife spotted a large mole-like growth on his shoulder.
          China was in a two-week state of mourning for its recently deceased Premier. The fifty four year old leader of the world’s most populated country succumbed to pancreatic cancer, after a three year struggle with the disease.
          In England, the Prime Minister and a thousand dignitaries sat in the Canterbury Cathedral and listened to the Archbishop of Canterbury perform the eulogy for the Prime Minister’s wife, a recent victim of colon cancer.
          The American President, stunned by the announcement of his wife’s cancer, met with his cabinet and announced his wife’s condition.
          That evening, while dining with his wife, he said, “There has to be something we can do to defeat this cancer. The vice president told me today at the cabinet meeting that cancer deaths are projected to increase 45% in the next two decades. Deaths will grow from 7.9 million a year to 11.5 deaths a year. There must be an answer to this slaughter.”
          The president’s wife thought for a moment and then said, “Wouldn’t it be something if all the countries of the world got together and took a year off from wars and fighting and attacked cancer.”
          The President became silent for a few seconds, then he stared at his wife. “Dammit, you may have something there! That could just be the answer I’ve been looking for.”
          Seven days later the President of the United States was speaking to a meeting of the full General Assembly of the United Nations in extraordinary plenary session. The heads and representatives of every nation on earth were there.
          After the official greeting the President offered his appreciation for the full attendance.
          “We are gathered here to make war. War against a disease that will soon kill nearly 12 million people on our planet in a single year. Every one of you will be touched, one way or another, by this horrendous, cruel, nightmarish disease. Many of you in this great room will die from cancer. Thirteen percent of all human deaths are caused by cancer. It is time that the nations of the world came together to find a cure. I propose that all wars, all combat, all hostilities cease immediately. All incursions of one country to another will stop immediately and all borders recognized and respected. We hope that the billions of dollars spent on aggression and war will be diverted to the fight against cancer.”
          “I propose that for the next two years, starting thirty days from today, a world wide armistice will be held. Every country will obey the armistice totally and fully. All military forces will retreat to their own borders. Any country using aggression of any kind will be dealt with immediately by an overwhelming force of a United Nations Peace Army.”
          “Beginning in thirty days the United States will dedicate every one of its major medical research facilities towards finding a cure and prevention for cancer. We ask each of you to do the same. Dedicate all of your medical centers to finding the answer to cancer. The United States will set up a ten billion dollar reward for the country that finds a cure and another ten billion dollar reward for the country that finds the prevention for cancer.”
          The complete assemblage of the United Nations rose and gave the American President a ten minute standing ovation.
          The official resolution for the two year armistice was signed by every member nation. In seven countries around the globe invading armies withdrew to their own borders. In hospitals and research facilities in the United States and in major cities around the world researchers began searching for the cure and prevention of all types of cancer.
          In a meeting in a small conference room in the rear of the United Nations building the President of the United States sat with the President of Russia and the Premier of China. The three men shook hands with each other.
          The new Premier of China sat quietly and then said, “My dream is that the next two years will find people around the world dedicated to your dream, Mr. President.”
          The Russian President reached for the hand of the President of China and said, “I agree. I have a personal stake in this wonderful resolution. You see, two days ago my doctor told me that he had found a suspicious spot on my lung. Like millions of others around the world I have a personal reason to hope for the success of your plan.”
          Tired, but elated, the American President allowed his mind to drift to thoughts of his wife. “This has to work, it just has to,” he thought.
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