Volunteers Solidify Impact as Congress Votes to Increase Funding for Cancer Programs

March 25, 2024

After months of delay and hard negotiations, Congress has finally passed a funding bill! The bill includes a small increase for cancer research and prevention programs. ACS CAN volunteers played a huge role in this process. The bill includes increases for the National Institute of Health (NIH), the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) cancer screening and prevention programs and sustained funding, and for Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H).  

This increase in funding is not enough to meet the tremendous need that exists, but it is still critical to help lower cancer mortality rates as well as address the increase in cancer diagnosis expected in the U.S. this year. Thanks to this increase, scientists will be able to continue their life-saving work and continue to progress in the fight against cancer.  

At every opportunity, volunteers made sure that the voices of cancer patients and their families were heard by Congress. This includes sending over 123,000 emails to their legislators and tweeting at their lawmakers nearly 1,000 times! These actions made an impact that could not be ignored, even during a tough budget year that could have resulted in steep cuts had it not been for amazing ACS CAN volunteers.  

And it’s not just digital actions that helped make this happen. Last September, at Leadership Summit and Lobby Day, often known as #Cancer Lobby Day, over 600 volunteers met with  members of Congress! During these meetings, volunteers asked their lawmakers to increase federal cancer research and prevention funding. 

a large group of volunteers at OVAC lobby day with the logo in the centerAnother significant in-person day of action in 2023 was the One Voice Against Cancer (OVAC) Lobby Day,  where over 100 cancer advocates met with their legislators. ACS CAN founded and leads the OVAC coalition of over 50 organizations focused on advocating for increased cancer research and prevention funding on the federal level. OVAC hosted another lobby day this year in March, where once again 100 cancer advocates had additional meetings with their legislators, continuing to push for a FY24 budget that prioritized cancer patients. Finally, across the nation ACS CAN volunteers completed 195 drop-bys, meetings and town halls in their local districts.  

It took time, dedication and resilience to make this happen. We want to thank our volunteers from the bottom of our hearts for their tenacious advocacy. We know we can always count on our volunteers to continue to move the needle in the fight against cancer.  

With your help, we’re on the path to ending cancer as we know it, for everyone.