Mariah Forster Olson, an ACS CAN Ambassador Constituent Team Lead (ACT Lead), traveled to Washington, D.C. this week to share her story as a childhood cancer survivor and to advocate on behalf of other patients and survivors during the 2019 Childhood Cancer Action Days.
16-Year-Old Cancer Researcher Invited to SOTU
I was pleased to hear President Obama mention the need to invest in science and innovation in Tuesday's State of the Union address. Cancer patients and survivors nationwide need a renewed commitment from Congress and the administration to fund the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and National Cancer Institute at levels that keep up with inflation and allow promising research to continue. But perhaps what spoke even stronger to that need than the president's words was one of the 24 special guests invited to Tuesday night's address an incredible teenage boy named Jack Andraka. At only 15, Jack won Intel International's top International Science and Engineering prize last year for creating a paper sensor that detects pancreatic and ovarian cancers and is more sensitive and cheaper than current tests. The video of him receiving his award is inspiring and will undoubtedly make you smile:
I encourage you to read more about Jack's story. Jack contacted 200 labs about using their space for research before one agreed. Great minds like Jack's should never have to struggle to find space or funding to conduct vital research into the life-threatening diseases such as cancer. But cuts to federal funding, and the threat of more on the way, are making this a reality for too many cancer researchers. With across-the-board funding cuts, known as sequestration, threatening to slash the NIH budget to 2008 levels, ACS CAN staff and volunteers are telling lawmakers through meetings, petitions, and the media to avoid these indiscriminate cuts. ACS CAN's new research report and ad are sending the same message here in Washington, DC. Will you contact your members of Congress and help us ensure sequestration won't leave the next breakthroughs in the fight against cancer, like Jack's, languishing in the labs?