PHILADELPHIA — The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) helped launch the Philadelphia region’s first Love Lock “Hope Fence,” which was presented as a gift to the City of Philadelphia and Penn’s Landing by Sarah and Dan Keating yesterday.
To commemorate Dan Keating’s cancer journey, the couple chose to announce the 250-foot specialty-engineered Philadelphia Hope Fence Wednesday in appreciation of the Friends of the AACR Foundation Party with a Purpose Committee as they work to raise funds for cancer research through the annual Party with a Purpose gala, to be held on Oct. 22. The Keatings will be honored at the gala with the 2017 Humanitarian Award.
The concept for the Philadelphia Hope Fence, which is located at Penn’s Landing Waterfront Promenade, adjacent to the Hilton at Penn’s Landing, is to create a living work of art, inspired by the original concept at the Pont des Arts bridge in Paris.
“Seventeen years ago, I was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma,” said Dan Keating. “Had it not been for the discovery of Rituxan, I just would not be here today. When I went into remission, I made a promise with myself to one, be a better person; two, never take one day on earth with my family for granted; three, give back to cancer-fighting organizations.
“Without funding and support, cures for cancer just aren’t possible. The AACR Foundation backs every aspect of high-quality, innovative cancer research so more people like me can survive cancer. The AACR’s message truly resonated with Sarah and me. It really is all about finding cures together,” he added.
The Keatings created AACR commemorative locks to express their gratitude to the Friends of the AACR Foundation Party with a Purpose Committee. Attendees at Wednesday’s event were able to write a personal note on their AACR commemorative Love Lock, then latch it onto the Philadelphia Hope Fence. The AACR was the first organization to participate.
“The American Association for Cancer Research was honored to be the first organization to latch a Love Lock on the Philadelphia Hope Fence,” said Margaret Foti, PhD, MD (hc), Chief Executive Officer of the AACR. “Sarah and Dan Keating’s commitment to raising funds and awareness for cancer research is one of many reasons they are so deserving of the Friends of the AACR Foundation Party with a Purpose 2017 Humanitarian Award.”
“It was very meaningful to put an AACR commemorative lock on the Hope Fence. My message on the Love Lock celebrated the progress we have achieved in curing some cancers, and served as a reminder that we still have much to accomplish,” she added.
Philadelphia’s residents and visitors can personalize and latch a Love Lock to commemorate any life moment. The idea of placing a lock onto the fence and discarding the key can be viewed as an ever-present symbol of hope, unity, and strength. As a physical representation of community connectivity, Philadelphia Hope Fence serves as a humanitarian initiative to foster social unity and a sense of belonging through storytelling.
The event was attended by Margaret Foti, PhD, MD (hc), chief executive officer of the AACR, Mitch Stoller, executive director of the AACR Foundation, Beverly Goldberg, president of the Party with a Purpose Committee, John Parker, co-chair of the Party with a Purpose gala, Friends of the AACR Foundation Party with a Purpose Committee, and AACR staff.
Visitors are invited to upload their stories by using the hashtags #LockedInMyStory and #PHLHopeFence.
Cancer survivor Dan and Sarah Keating latch a Love Lock on the Philadelphia region’s first Hope Fence, which the Keatings gifted to the City of Philadelphia and Penn’s Landing.
American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) CEO Margaret Foti, PhD, MD (hc), places a Love Lock on Philadelphia’s new Hope Fence. The AACR was the first organization to latch locks on the fence.