Letter to the Editor: Cancer fight top priority from Higganum to D.C.

October 11, 2018

The following letter was published in the Middletown Press on October 11, 2018.

Recently, I had the honor of representing Connecticut on Capitol Hill by traveling to Washington, D.C., with nearly 700 of my fellow American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network volunteers from across the country to urge Congress to make cancer a national priority.

Together, we called on Congress to support lifesaving policies that help people prevent and better treat cancer. We asked legislators for their support in increasing federal funding for cancer research, backing legislation to improve patient quality of life and removing cost barriers to colorectal cancer screenings for seniors. Cancer is nonpartisan; and Congress should seize the opportunity to pass critical legislation that can help end cancer as we know it.

When I met with Joe Dunn, senior policy advisor to Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Connecticut), I thanked the senator for being a co-sponsor of the Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act. He is on the Health Education Labor Pensions Committee, and I urged him to persuade Chairman Lamar Alexander to schedule this for a vote. As a cancer survivor, I have benefited greatly from palliative care, and I think it should be available to all cancer patients and survivors.

I also let our lawmakers know that the people of Connecticut, and many others across the country, rely on them to support legislation that will help reduce the cancer burden, potentially making cancer history. With more than 1,670 people dying from cancer every day, we must take legislative action on these important issues.

I encourage you to join us, giving us a stronger and louder voice in the fight against cancer. Visit to be connected to people like me in your community.

Donna Rogers, volunteer, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, Higganum