Jimmy Carter photo

Cancer Courage Award for 1977 Remarks on Presenting the Award to Minnie Riperton.

April 04, 1977

THE PRESIDENT. I can't match the admiration that people have for you, but I will try to make this presentation because it means so much to me.

I think within the framework of health care for our Nation and the world as a constant combined fear and hope involving cancer, it touches almost every family. My own father died with cancer in 1953. My wife's father died with cancer when she was 13 years old.

We have a national commitment to try to solve for our own people and for the rest of the world the health aspects of prevention of cancer or cure of cancer once it occurs. This may be in the near future or it may be in the distant future, we don't know. But in the meantime, there is needed another aspect of human commitment, and that is the demonstration of courage and concern among those who are afflicted with cancer and who have a responsibility for those who suffer.

Minnie Riperton is one of 80 million women throughout the world, each year, who suffer from cancer of the breast. Quite often this is a concealed affliction. But when someone who is a famous person like she is approaches this confrontation with a terrible disease, with courage and concern for other people, it is inspirational to us all.

It is with a great deal of pleasure that I present this commemorative plaque to Minnie Riperton for her frank approach to a problem in her own life and for the inspiration that she has provided for others who might have to face this prospect in the future.

I know that I, as a public official, will join with the distinguished members of the American Cancer Society Board of Directors, and professional workers who stand behind me, in renewing our commitment to search for some way to prevent cancer and its many forms of attack on the health and well-being of our people and other people around the world.

So, Minnie, it is with a great deal of pleasure that I present to you this plaque. And I want to thank you for coming in today to receive it. You have meant a lot to us all.

MISS RIPERTON. Thank you. I am deeply moved and honored, and I do accept this award on behalf of cancer patients everywhere. I hope that by sharing, I have somehow made it easier for people to live with a similar experience. I thank you very much.

THE PRESIDENT. We are very proud of you.

Note: The President spoke at 2:40 p.m. in the Cabinet Room at the White House. He presented the award to entertainer Minnie Riperton on behalf of the American Cancer Society.

Jimmy Carter, Cancer Courage Award for 1977 Remarks on Presenting the Award to Minnie Riperton. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/243005

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