Raymond Christensen Statement
Statement by Raymond G. Christensen, M.D., Grand Master, Masons of Minnesota
This statement was made by Raymond G. Christensen, M.D., Grand Master, Masons of Minnesota, at a press conference April 10, 2008, announcing a $65 donation by Minnesota Masonic Charities to the University of Minnesota for cancer research.
I am a family physician. In my 36 years of practice in rural Minnesota, I have often struggled with the diagnosis and treatment of cancer, and attended those who have succumbed, often prematurely, to this ravaging disease. A disease that affects all walks of life, ages, and both genders.
I have also been witness to amazing new diagnostic methods and often the ability to make the diagnosis in the pre-cancerous state. We have learned that through lifestyle changes we might prevent some cancers all together. Further, new, more effective, and tolerable treatments have evolved. Many diagnoses and treatments have been developed here at the University of Minnesota, partnering with the Masonic Fraternity for over a half century.
Yet this is a multi-faceted disease that is still largely unknown to us. As we stand here, today, on the banks of the Mississippi River, I am reminded of the charge President Thomas Jefferson delivered to our Masonic Brothers Captain Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, to discover and map the western half of the United States. As you know, at the time of the Lewis and Clark expedition, the western half of our young country was largely unknown. We had made the Louisiana Purchase, and we knew the shape of what we had, but we had not defined or refined it. Today, we, as did our ancestors, know what the basic shape of the exploration is before us —but we need to define and refine it allowing us to discover those solutions that never dreamed possible.
In commissioning this gift, the Masons of Minnesota continue a partnership of over 50 years with the University of Minnesota. We are a fraternity of 16,750 Master Masons aided by the Order of the Eastern Star and other Appendant bodies. Today we renew our efforts with the University of Minnesota in the search for a cure of cancer.