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.
We're All Just One Degree from Cancer
There are few things in life that we all share in common, but we are all just one degree from cancer. Whether it's a parent, grandparent, other relative, friend, co-worker or even you, we all know someone who has faced this disease, and thus we all know just how important cancer research is to the quality of life and survival of our loved ones. That's why we've joined with Stand Up To Cancer in an unprecedented joint effort to save more lives from cancer by boosting the nation's investment in groundbreaking cancer research. We're calling it the One Degree campaign, and it brings together Hollywood celebrities and grassroots advocates nationwide to ask Congress to increase medical research funding at the National Institutes of Health by $6 billion over two years, including $1 billion for cancer research at the National Cancer Institute (NCI). We're launching the One Degree campaign at a critical point for the future of patient care. Federal funding for medical research has declined more than 24 percent in inflation-adjusted dollars since 2003, forcing cancer centers to halt promising clinical trials and drying up the grant pool relied upon by researchers. Sequestration and budget caps have forced NCI to scale back or even halt promising cancer research. Yet, we understand more about cancer occurrence, reoccurrence and personalized treatments than ever before. Not to mention that NCI is near completion of the Cancer Genome Atlas, a collaborative database that will accelerate our understanding of how genetics play a role in the cancer journey. Federal investments in cancer research are crucial to ensuring groundbreaking approaches to preventing, detecting and treating cancer are brought from the bench to the bedside. Just a couple of days into the launch, the One Degree campaign is already in full force on social media. People across the country are tweeting and posting on Facebook using the #OneDegree hashtag. Here are some examples: I encourage everyone to share their One Degree on social media (using #OneDegree), and sign the petition for more federal investments in cancer research on our webpage, OneDegreeProject.org.
My One Degree: On behalf of the nearly 15 million cancer survivors living in this country today and nearly 590,000 people nationwide who will hear the words you have cancer this year, ACS CAN and Stand Up To Cancer will hold a One Degree Lobby Day on Capitol Hill on March 17 with celebrities and ACS CAN's top volunteers from every state. I look forward to updating you on what is bound to be a day to remember!