Boise, Idaho – Idahoans touched by cancer join nearly 500 cancer patients, survivors and their loved ones from all 50 states and nearly every congressional district for virtual meetings today to ask members of Congress to make the fight against cancer a national priority. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) is hosting its annual Leadership Summit and Lobby Day virtually. Volunteers spoke with lawmakers about critical issues, including increased cancer research and prevention funding and more equitable access to cancer clinical trials.
"Cancer hasn’t stopped, so neither have we. Congress must take action to address the needs of cancer patients during and beyond the pandemic," said Lisa Lacasse, president of ACS CAN. "Emergency funding alone is not enough. We need consistent and significant increases in cancer research and prevention funding to ensure we maximize past investments and continue to make significant progress preventing and treating a disease that is projected to kill more than 600,000 Americans this year."
In addition to urging lawmakers to boost research and prevention funding, ACS CAN volunteer advocates will also encourage lawmakers to advance legislation that addresses disparities in cancer care and supports more equitable access to cancer clinical trials through the Henrietta Lacks Enhancing Cancer Research Act.
The virtual meetings follow a Lights of Hope Across America event held Saturday where 45,000 lit bags decorated with the names of those who’ve fought cancer were displayed in homes nationwide as a powerful message of hope. The event replaced the annual Lights of Hope ceremony which usually takes place on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.
Here in Idaho, volunteers displayed their Lights of Hope throughout neighborhoods and communities in the Gem State to pay tribute to those impacted by cancer. Photos available upon request. This year roughly 8,540 Idahoans will be diagnosed with cancer and 3,100 residents will die from the disease.
Learn more about ACS CAN Idaho and join efforts to fight cancer in the Gem State at www.fightcancer.org/states/Idaho.
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About ACS CAN
The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) is making cancer a top priority for public officials and candidates at the federal, state and local levels. ACS CAN empowers advocates across the country to make their voices heard and influence evidence-based public policy change as well as legislative and regulatory solutions that will reduce the cancer burden. As the American Cancer Society’s nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate, ACS CAN is critical to the fight for a world without cancer. For more information, visit www.fightcancer.org.