On Monday, the anniversary of JFK’s “moonshot speech,” President Biden gave a notable speech himself, the “cancer moonshot speech.” Today’s writing prompt is based on the latter speech. Keep reading to see the full writing prompt, as well as my completed version of the prompt: Remission or Prevention.
Today’s Writing Prompt: Cancer Moonshot
Sixty years ago JFK announced he wanted us to shoot for the moon. In Monday’s speech, Biden announced he wants us to cut the death toll of cancer in the US in half over the next 25 years.
Today, write a scene in which you write about a main character’s reaction to Biden’s Cancer Moonshot speech. Your main character must be one of the following: a biotech researcher, a victim of cancer, a journalist, or a policymaker.
Completed Version of Today’s Writing Prompt
Remission or Prevention, by K.E. Creighton
After hearing Biden’s Cancer Moonshot speech yesterday, all I can think about is the saying, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” In fact, the phrase is on repeat in my mind as I get the tables in the Grille set up for today’s lunch rush while mediocre 90s pop plays in the background.
He didn’t use the word “cure” that often in his speech. But I hope that’s what they’re aiming to do— cure cancer. It sounds like something far-fetched you hear about in an outdated sci-fi movie, honestly. Curing cancer. On this planet? I don’t know. Probably not. Drug companies are too greedy to help facilitate that. They’ll probably just end up mass producing and offering pills that keep people sick longer in the long run, so they can make more money pushing them out like candy to children on Halloween.
Curing cancer is not the same thing as preventing it, after all. Is it? I hope it is. Because I want to prevent it from touching another life or living soul again.
Last year when my mother got the call, it took a while for everything she said afterward to sink in. I only had six months left with her, she said flatly. Then she said she wanted to travel anywhere and everywhere important. She actually got excited for a few days. “Before I leave this earth for good, I must see as much of it as I can,” she had exclaimed, before telling me she wasn’t sure if there was an afterlife, hence why she needed to enjoy this one.
We sat up all night and made plans to go to the Great Wall of China and Machu Picchu and the Great Pyramid of Giza, all the major sites. Then we tallied up the costs. And before I could protest, my mother put my childhood home on the market to pay for it all.
We, my mom and I and my two daughters, did end up seeing some of the major sites before she started to get really sick and we had to come back and live with my soon-to-be ex-husband.
Two weeks before she passed, I got a call of my own.
I’m in remission now. I’m also working again, although it’s not really the job I had charted out for my career path after college. And I’m hoping there’s some form of prevention available soon. It’s too late for me, and my mom, regardless of what they end up doing for this “cancer moonshot.” But hopefully, it’s not too late for my girls.
[All Rights Reserved by K.E. Creighton and Creighton’s Compositions LLC. The above work is a piece of fiction. All names and locations referred to are the product of the author’s imagination and are used entirely for fictional purposes. Any similarities to real-life persons or places are purely coincidental.]
Notes on Completing this Writing Prompt
I’ll be honest. I’m optimistic about what scientists will accomplish when it comes to innovative cancer treatments— hopefully, cures, too. But I’m not optimistic about what pharmaceutical companies will do with what those scientists accomplish. All you have to do is look at the price of insulin for an already existing example of where I’m coming from.