The third Stand Up to Cancer telethon on Sept. 7 in Los Angeles proved to be a massive fundraiser, raking in more than $81 million in pledges. 


"We are profoundly grateful to the entire entertainment community, particularly the stars who volunteered their time and talent, as well as the networks and cable channels that donated the air time, to make our show a tremendous success," said Lisa Paulsen, an SU2C co-founder and president and CEO of the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF).


The evening, broadcast commercial-free for one hour on more than a dozen major networks, featured appearances by Julia Roberts, Matt Damon, Samuel L. Jackson, Emma Stone, Jessica Biel, Katie Couric, Jeremy Renner, Seth Rogan, Masi Oka, Simon Baker, Rashida Jones and many more.


Gwyneth Paltrow, who lost her father Bruce to cancer 10 years ago, expressed her immense thanks to all those who took the time to participate. 


“I am deeply moved by and proud of this broadcast," she said. "This is very personal for me, as it is for so many of us. Our program honored all those we've lost to the disease, emboldened those brave survivors among us to continue fighting, and highlighted SU2C's remarkable progress in cancer research. The results are tangible, and the potential for breakthroughs in the coming years is very exciting.”


Every day, cancer kills 1,600 Americans. This year, more than 550,000 Americans and almost 8 million people worldwide will die of some form of cancer. Since the first SU2C telethon in 2008, more than $280 million has been donated to researchers and institutions around the world. 


“Stand Up To Cancer is a true force in advancing innovative cancer research, powered by the generosity and passion of millions of people who want to see this disease finally brought to its knees," said SU2C co-founder Katie Couric. "Together, we are helping some of the world’s best scientists make meaningful progress."


The telethon may be over, but the organization is still accepting pledges. To make your donation, hit the official site here. 


Check out the incredibly touching and moving song Taylor Swift premiered at the telethon called "Ronan." It was created by the artist in memory of 4-year-old Ronan, who died from cancer in 2011. It's absolutely heartbreaking. All purchases of the song made through iTunes will be donated to cancer-related charities. 

Michael d'Estries ( @michaeldestries ) covers science, technology, art, and the beautiful, unusual corners of our incredible world.

'Stand Up to Cancer' telethon raises $81M
Stand Up to Cancer telethon raises $81 million. Star-studded telecast featured performances by Taylor Swift, Coldplay, Alicia Keys and Tim McGraw.