Courage in Action: Cancer Survivors Unite at State Capitol to Advocate for Change

Cancer Advocates and Cyclists Gathered at the Statehouse Today to Say Ohio Can and Must Do Better to Reduce the Burden of Cancer

May 7, 2024

COLUMBUS, OHIO – Today, cancer patients, survivors, caregivers and cyclists from across the state traveled to the Capitol to ride around the Statehouse and to meet with their elected officials during Cancer Action Day. They let lawmakers know that Ohio can and must do better to improve access to cancer care.

The American Cancer Society’s Hope Lodge in Cleveland provided 9,119 free nights of lodging to 461 patients who needed to travel a long distance to receive their cancer treatment, saving them $1.8 million last year. Bicycling advocates rode around the Statehouse today to bring attention to their ask that lawmakers include $170,000 in the capital budget to provide structural updates to Cleveland Hope Lodge, a nurturing home away from home for cancer patients and their caregivers.

Advocates also met with lawmakers to ask them to support legislation that would improve access to biomarker testing. This legislation will help address a significant barrier and bring the promise of precision medicine to more Ohioans, no matter their income or where they live. Biomarker testing opens the door to targeted therapies, which can provide many benefits to patients, including better outcomes, improved quality of life, and, in some cases, reduced costs from bypassing ineffective therapies.

Lastly, advocates asked lawmakers to provide better access to care by passing copay accumulator legislation. Passing this legislation will require that all prescription drug payments made by patients, directly or on their behalf, count toward their overall out-of-pocket maximum or deductible, making cancer treatment more affordable. 

An estimated 79,280 Ohioans will be diagnosed with cancer, and 24,810 are expected to die from the devastating disease this year. Those gathered at the Statehouse today are calling on Ohio lawmakers to change this by taking steps to prioritize the fight against cancer. 

Media Contacts

Michelle Zimmerman
Associate Director, Regional Media Advocacy