Local Cancer Advocate Urges Congress to Prioritize Cancer Research and Prevention
This is the press release sent out to media stations across Idaho after my recent trip to Washington D.C.
Chad Estes of Boise, Idaho Joins Nearly 150 Volunteers From Across Country for ‘One Voice Against Cancer’ Lobby Day
Boise – June 16, 2015 — Local American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) volunteer Chad Estes joined nearly 150 other cancer patients, survivors, caregivers, physicians and researchers in Washington, D.C., last week to urge lawmakers to make fighting cancer a top national priority. These advocates are uniting as part of the 16th annual One Voice Against Cancer (OVAC) lobby day to ask their legislators to provide funding for critical cancer research and prevention programs at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
“As a cancer caregiver and volunteer, I’ve witnessed firsthand the benefits of cancer research and new cancer therapies,” said Estes a volunteer with ACS CAN, the advocacy affiliate of the American Cancer Society. “Over the past two decades we’ve continued to improve the way we diagnose and treat cancer. But our work is far from over and sustained federal investment in cancer research and prevention is critical to ensure the next breakthroughs reach those who desperately need them now.”
Twenty-one ACS CAN volunteers from across the country, like Chad from Idaho, joined their voices with members of the other cancer organizations that make up OVAC, to meet with Members of Congress and their staff, specifically requesting that they support legislation to provide $5.4 billion for the National Cancer Institute (NCI), end the decline of cancer’s share of the National Institute of Health (NIH) budget, and support cancer prevention, screening programs and registries in every state by increasing funding for the Center for Disease Control (CDC). Chad met with Idaho Senators Mike Crapo and James Risch, and with Congressman Simpson’s Legislative Director, Nate Greene.
Chad’s background with cancer advocacy started with his project The Reveal Mission, which gives breast cancer patients and survivors the means of sharing their stories using portraits and written articles in art shows. His efforts to give them a voice have now taken him into the legislative arena with ACS CAN where he is using his voice to fight for cancer patients’ lives.
“Federal funding for cancer research, medical trials, early detection and drug development play a crucial role in advancing our progress against this disease. Yet in the past decade by not increasing funding we’ve lost 22% of our budget due to inflation. While the NIH used to fund 1-in-3 cancer research grants they currently can only fund 1-in-7. We need our lawmakers to redouble their commitment to ending death and suffering from cancer. This disease affects all of us and we can’t afford to let lifesaving research languish in the labs.”
This year in Idaho it is estimated that 8,080 people will be diagnosed with cancer and 2,790 will die from the disease. Cancer also cost the U.S. economy an estimated $216 billion last year in direct and indirect medical costs. Federal funding for medical research and cancer prevention programs has had a role in every major advance against this disease. For a full list of the OVAC health care groups joining ACS CAN in this year’s lobby day, visit http://ovaconline.org/members.html.
ACS CAN, the nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate of the American Cancer Society, supports evidence-based policy and legislative solutions designed to eliminate cancer as a major health problem. ACS CAN works to encourage elected officials and candidates to make cancer a top national priority. ACS CAN gives ordinary people extraordinary power to fight cancer with the training and tools they need to make their voices heard. For more information, visit www.acscan.org.