Why I’m grateful for Texas’ Tobacco 21 legislation

I first became aware of MD Anderson when my dear friend, James Ragan, of blessed memory, was diagnosed with osteosarcoma at the age of 13. James and his family lived two doors down from us in Corpus Christi, and I watched them battle osteosarcoma with a bravery and optimism that is simply indescribable. Through James and his parents, I began to learn of the extraordinarily impactful research and clinical care provided at MD Anderson. I also became much more sensitive to the plight of young cancer patients. Then, my father-in-law, George Gilbert, fought melanoma for several years with the help of MD Anderson. We were very close, and I admired him a great deal. His cancer ultimately got the best of him, but I know that MD Anderson made every weapon available to him during his courageous battle, and they brought a level of patient-centered care and compassion for which I will forever be grateful. After joining the Board of Visitors, my business partner of 25 years, Chip Bonner, was diagnosed with glioblastoma and once again, MD Anderson provided incredible care throughout Chip’s journey, and my appreciation will be there for the rest of my life.  Learning about the dangers of tobacco After seeing cancer claim several of my loved ones, I’ve committed myself to helping MD Anderson advance its mission to end cancer as a member of its Board of Visitors.  This is how I learned of the incredible potential of cancer prevention to make a difference – particularly avoiding tobacco use. Through my conversations with MD Anderson’s leaders, I learned that there wasn’t a single action that...