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.
Forster Olson will join more than 200 other cancer patients, survivors and family members in the nation’s capital for Childhood Cancer Action Day, a two-day event organized by the Alliance for Childhood Cancer, of which ACS CAN is a member. Participants will ask lawmakers to 1) fully fund the bipartisan Childhood Cancer Survivorship, Treatment, Access and Research (STAR) Act, 2) continue to make strong investments in the National Institutes for Health and the National Cancer Institute to advance discoveries in the fight against childhood cancer, and 3) pass the Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act (PCHETA) to enhance the quality of life of childhood cancer patients, survivors and their families.
At only one year old, Forster Olson was diagnosed with neuroblastoma – the most common type of cancer found in infants. She required multiple surgeries to remove a tumor occupying the right side of her chest and 18 rounds of radiation therapy to follow up. After given a low probability of survival, Forster Olson’s parents elected to try an experimental form of chemotherapy, which ultimately saved her life. Nearly 39 years later, she still faces significant health challenges and remains at risk for a variety of secondary cancers.
An estimated 11,000 children under the age of 15 will be diagnosed with cancer in the United States this year. Cancer is the leading cause of disease-related death among children in the United States.
WHAT: Spokesperson available to share her battle with cancer and highlight the importance of funding and expanding childhood cancer research.
WHO: Mariah Forster Olson, of La Crosse, is traveling to Washington, D.C. to urge her members of Congress to increase funding for pediatric cancer research
WHEN: Available for interviews upon her return from Washington, D.C., on March 28
HOW: Contact Tracy Lytwyn to schedule an interview ([email protected])
**Pictures from the Childhood Cancer Action Day will be available after the event**
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.