First lady Dr. Jill Biden visits Joint Base Charleston, MUSC’s Hollings Cancer Center

Published: Oct. 25, 2021 at 5:07 AM EDT|Updated: Oct. 25, 2021 at 8:54 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - First lady Dr. Jill Biden stopped at at Joint Base Charleston Monday afternoon following her visit to MUSC’s Hollings Cancer Center for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

At Joint Base Charleston she hosted a Joint Forces event where she met with military families.

“The servicemembers of Charleston have played a critical role in our national security,” Biden said. “And that’s a history that the airmen, women soldiers, Marines, Coast Guardsmen and civilians of this base continue to uphold.”

The First lady also spoke how families of servicemembers played an important part during the Afghan War.

“For 20 years families like yours have carried the weight of these wars,” she said. “And though it may be heavy at times it has also created connections that have changed lives.”

You can see portions of the event in the video below.

Cancer Center Director and Dean Dr. Raymond DuBois said Biden is very passionate about breast cancer awareness and research and said her visit to MUSC’s Hollings Cancer Center would bring national attention to the center and the issue.

“We do see a lot of minority patients, or patients that come from underserved areas,” he said. “She’s very passionate about trying to do what she can to improve health and equity, especially in the cancer field.”

“If they catch it early, in stage one and maybe stage two they have a good chance of survival,” Biden said. “That’s what we are aiming for, right. That’s what all the docs here are saying is that we have to create awareness.”

The First Lady also met some of the staff and students at the Hollings Cancer Center, including students from their HBCU pipeline program, which she is interested in learning about.

“She wants to understand how that works and why they decided to choose a career in health or biomedical research,” DuBois said.

Dubois says the Hollings Center is now in the Top 40 of the US News and World Report rankings for cancer centers. He says Biden would hear about exciting new research where one scientist here has discovered a monoclonal antibody drug for treating breast cancer. She is ready to take that to more of a clinical trial phase, DuBois says.

The National Cancer Institute is expected to be visiting as well. DuBois says the Hollings Cancer Center is the only NCI-designated center in South Carolina, and only one of 71 that has earned an NCI designation, placing it in the top 4% nationwide.

“We’re on a journey to earn comprehensive status, and this helps us to achieve that vision,” he said.

Biden arrived in Charleston Sunday night and is set to return to the nation’s capital Monday night.

Earlier this month, she visited Brookland Baptist Church in West Columbia to help celebrate the 50th anniversary of its pastor, the Rev. Charles B. Jackson.

During that visit, she spoke of renewing her faith after the loss of the Bidens’ son, Beau, who died from brain cancer in 2015. She said she felt “betrayed” and “broken” after his death.

But she said that changed in May 2019, when she and her husband, President Joe Biden, visited the church during a campaign stop and heard Jackson preaching. She said Jackson’s wife, Robin, asked to be her prayer partner.

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