Dear Mr. Townsend,

Thank you for your letter and for sharing such a deeply personal story.

While everyone’s battle with cancer is different, the First Lady and I—and our entire family—understand that pain.  You are not alone.  Nearly everyone knows someone who has had cancer or who is fighting to beat it.  We often meet them as we travel the country and, like you, they share their own story of hurt, struggle, and hope.

I am committed to ending cancer as we know it—for the lives we have lost and the lives we can save.  That is why I made ending cancer a central component of my Unity Agenda at my first State of the Union Address.  And it’s why the First Lady and I supercharged the Cancer Moonshot.  We set ambitious new goals to reduce the death rate from cancer by at least 50 percent over the next 25 years, and improve the experience of people and their families living with and surviving cancer.  And this year, my Administration created a special Federal agency called the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health, ARPA-H, which will invest billions of dollars to deliver breakthrough cures for deadly diseases like cancer.

As we forge ahead to achieve this goal with hope in our hearts, please know that the First Lady and I will keep you and your loved ones in our thoughts and prayers.