Cancer Patients and Survivors Rally Legislators Virtually Due to COVID-19

Technology Enabled American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network Volunteers to Continue Efforts to Tackle Cancer

May 4, 2021

SPRINGFIELD, IL– The unpredictable and dynamic nature of COVID-19 is no match for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network’s (ACS CAN) volunteers’ steadfast commitment. When the elevated risk for those with compromised immune systems became a roadblock for the annual Cancer Action Day, cancer patients, survivors and caregivers from across the state traveled virtually yesterday to the state capitol to meet with Illinois’s lawmakers about the need to support legislation that will reduce suffering and death from cancer. 

“Cancer hasn’t stopped. So, neither will we. As a cancer advocate, I let my lawmakers know if we’re going to eliminate cancer as a major health problem in Illinois, this goal must be top of mind for our legislature,” said Roger Crawford, ACS CAN Illinois state lead ambassador. “By improving access to care, we can reduce suffering and death from this disease.”

Specifically, the Illinois volunteers asked the legislature to:

Support Biomarker Testing Legislation: support legislation that will expand coverage of biomarker testing – an essential step in accessing precision medicine treatments. Dubbed ‘the right treatment, to the right patient, at the right time,’ precision medicine has played a critical role in improving cancer outcomes.

Support Out-of-Pocket Legislation: support legislation that will make prescription out-of-pocket costs more predictable for patients facing serious illness. While this legislation won’t save anyone money, it will make expenses more predictable. A patient will no longer have to worry about going to their local pharmacy and being shocked by their monthly prescription costs. 

Even as we face this pandemic, every day, an estimated 205 Illinionians hear the words “you have cancer” and 23,070 in the state are expected to die from this devastating disease this year. Those gathered yesterday are calling on Illinois lawmakers to change this by taking steps to make the fight against cancer a priority.


About ACS CAN at 20 
The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) makes cancer a top priority for policymakers at every level of government. ACS CAN empowers volunteers across the country to make their voices heard to influence evidence-based public policy change that saves lives. We believe everyone should have a fair and just opportunity to prevent, find, treat, and survive cancer. Since 2001, as the American Cancer Society’s nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate, ACS CAN has successfully advocated for billions of dollars in cancer research funding, expanded access to quality affordable health care, and made workplaces, including restaurants and bars, smoke-free. As we mark our 20th anniversary, we’re more determined than ever to stand together with our volunteers and save more lives from cancer. Join the fight by visiting  

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Michelle Zimmerman
Senior Regional Media Advocacy Manager