Around six months ago, Susie and I talked about heading up to Washington, DC for the National Brain Tumor Society’s Head to the Hill event. I wanted to connect with other brain cancer advocates and help lend a voice to encouraging medical research funding for primary gliomas. The carrot for Susie was we could couple the trip with visiting relatives nearby in Virginia.
In the last three months, life across the world has changed due to the SARS-Cov2 pandemic. Most states are in some sort of lockdown, shelter-in-place, to “flatten the curve”. So traveling to DC was off the table. I was happy to learn the event coordinators moved Head to the Hill to being held on-line.
I think travel is quite challenging for many brain cancer patients and their care partners. While I think Susie and I have figured out how to make travel as painless as possible, it is certainly no longer carefree or easy. I suspect with this event moving to on-line, it is now seeing advocates emerge who travel was a severe obstacle.
Nevertheless, I’m very happy to be able to participate in this year’s virtual event. Through our advocacy efforts, we are asking Congress to prioritize medical research by funding the following:
- Appropriate a $3 billion increase for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and a $500 million increase for the National Cancer Institute (NCI).
- Appropriate $130 million for the Peer Reviewed Cancer Research Program of the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs of the Department of Defense, and include brain cancer and pediatric brain tumors as topics eligible for funding.
- Fund the Childhood Cancer STAR Act to guarantee that the programs inaugurated by the law are implemented and begin to make a difference for all those affected by childhood cancer, including pediatric brain tumors, now the leading cause of cancer-related death in children.
Brain tumor patients need better treatments and a cure! If you agree, please join Susie, myself and many others by taking action here: https://actnow.io/ecmOtqY