La Crosse resident and American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network volunteer Mariah Forster Olson will travel to Washington, D.C. today to talk about her cancer experience and to urge lawmakers to ensure childhood cancer research remains a national priority.
Childhood Cancer Advocates Take Their Stories to Capitol Hill
Washington, D.C. – Advocates from the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) joined more than 200 other childhood cancer patients, survivors, caretakers and family members on Capitol Hill today for the Alliance for Childhood Cancer’s eighth annual Childhood Cancer Action Day.
This year, participants will ask their congressional representatives to increase funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI), as well as fund the bipartisan Survivorship, Treatment, Access and Research (STAR) Act. Additionally, to advance the quality of life of childhood cancer patients and their families, advocates will ask lawmakers to support the Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act (PCHETA).
Cancer remains the leading cause of disease-related death among children in the United States. This year an estimated 11,000 children under the age of 15 will be diagnosed with cancer.
The following is a statement from Lisa Lacasse, president of ACS CAN:
“Passage of the STAR Act with overwhelming bipartisan support last year was a major victory for the childhood cancer community. Now it’s time for Congress to continue to prioritize increased funding for the National Institutes of Health and fully fund childhood cancer research. We’ve seen major advancements in therapies and treatments that have led to markedly improved outcomes for children diagnosed with cancer, but the work must continue to move us forward in the fight against pediatric cancers.
“Seeing so many childhood cancer patients, advocates, caretakers and families take their powerful stories directly to Capitol Hill today is incredibly moving. Congress has a significant role to play in the fight against childhood cancers and we hope they will continue to commit their support toward initiatives that will improve research, treatment and outcomes for children with cancer.”