Teams win the Superbowl and Teams provide Palliative Care; Teamwork is essential to ensure global access to, and availability of, quality palliative care.
INDIANAPOLIS, IN, UNITED STATES, February 7, 2021 /EINPresswire.com/ -- Winning a Superbowl is a pinnacle of success in sports, but it does not happen alone. “The Team is everything.” says Superbowl XXXI Champion Dr. George Koonce, a member of that victorious Green Bay Packers and currently Senior Vice President for University Relations at Marian University. He was able to realize his childhood dream of winning a Superbowl with the Green Bay Packers because of his staunch commitment and outstanding caliber of the Team.
Dr. Koonce reflects on this monumental Superbowl victory and shares how critical it is to have a committed and meaningful team in life, especially when someone faces overwhelming challenges such as living with cancer or bearing the brunt of inequities. Having lost his first wife to cancer, Dr. Koonce is keenly aware of the importance of a team beyond the football field. This serves as the impetus to build a bridge and unite what may seem to be opposite interests: sports and medicine, team versus isolation, a level playing field versus inequities. The contrasts are stark, but the core similarities are profound.
"We’re building an inclusive team around the globe to make changes within countries and communities to ensure access and availability to palliative care. Together we will score a Touchdown for Humanity”
Dr. George Koonce, Superbowl XXXI Champion; SV President, Marian University
Out of such dichotomy has spawned the creation and growth of a global team in a worldwide movement called “Touchdown for Humanity” whose kick-off occurred on Human Rights Day with a powerful video made in conjunction with the Walther Center in Global Palliative Care & Supportive Oncology at Indiana University and with the growing list of “teammates,” such as the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), among others across the world.
With the culmination of Superbowl week on Sunday the 7th of February, the world gathers to watch the kick-off of the biggest global sports event of the year. This same week, medical experts, patients, families and advocates around the globe joined in activities on World Cancer Day. To honor this global event, and its coinciding during Superbowl week, a second poignant video extends this story, expands the message and calls for more teammates as it relates the massive global challenge and the dire need to address worldwide inequities in cancer and palliative care (https://vimeo.com/508006535). While kick-off only recently occurred to score a “Touchdown for Humanity,” this is the beginning of a movement to make demonstrable changes – and score victories – in the worldwide challenge that threatens millions locally and worldwide.
“Only 14%, 1 in 7 people, in the world who need palliative care actually get access to it. And it results in huge suffering. With COVID-19, the problem is even greater. None of us want our loved ones to suffer in life. Palliative Care is there to reduce suffering. It’s addressing all the components that make up human suffering.” Professor Jim Cleary, MD, Director of the Walther Center in Global Palliative Care & Supportive Oncology at Indiana University.
“Palliative Care is about living well and it’s for all people with serious life-threatening illness. Our hope for the future is that Palliative Care becomes available and accessible to all people throughout the world” said Dr. Cleary, an Australian-trained Medical Oncologist.
“After the Superbowl, NFL football teams enter an ‘off-season’ characterized by a time to rest, rejuvenate, rebuild and regain momentum for next season. But suffering has no off-season. And there are millions around the globe in need of a ‘Superbowl caliber team’ to come alongside in their struggle,” says Dr. Koonce who speaks from personal experience.
As Touchdown for Humanity is building a team from around the globe, of people from all walks of life, backgrounds, cultures, communities and expertise, the difference is that there will be no off-season but more momentum in growing the global team for those who currently bear the brunt of inequities and may not feel if or how that might come to fruition.
“We’re building an inclusive team around the globe to make changes within and across countries and communities to ensure access and availability to palliative care and essential medicines. Together, we will score a Touchdown for Humanity” says Dr. Koonce.
Dr. Barbara Hastie
Walther Center in Global Palliative Care