Local cancer advocates push for funding in D.C.

DEL MAR — More than 85 advocates seeking to ensure that Congress increase the funding for cancer research and prevention programs participated in One Voice Against Cancer’s (OVAC) National Lobby Day in July in Washington, D.C. Del Mar resident, Julie Tyson Westcott, joined the OVAC team on behalf of HYPERLINK “http://www.livestrong.org/”the LIVESTRONG Foundation whose mission it is to improve the lives of people affected by cancer now.

Westcott and staff from more than 30 cancer organizations, walked the halls of Congress meeting with staff and representatives to make the case for increased funding for research into vitally important cancer programs.

Last year, 750 patients were turned away from National Institute of Health (NIH) clinical centers as a result of cuts in funding.  The OVAC advocates were gathered in Washington to reach out to their local lawmakers to ask that the National Cancer Institute budget be increased to $5.26 billion; that the decline in funding for cancer research ends; and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) budget for cancer programs is increased to $510 million.

“It is important for all of us to have our voices heard by our elected lawmakers on issues of life and death, and funding for cancer research and prevention is just such an issue,” said Julie Westcott.  “I was proud to join my fellow advocates and take a few days to tell the stories of cancer patients and my own story as a three-time cancer survivor, and reinforce the need for funding.  I hope that it makes a difference and that our local lawmakers are listening.” Julie met with Senator Dianne Feinstein and staff regarding these asks, and also presented Senator Feinstein with the OVAC Cancer Champion Award 2014. Julie also met with Senator Barbara Boxer and Representative Darrell Issa’s offices.

OVAC is a collaboration of national non-profit organizations presenting millions of Americans, delivering a unified message to Congress and the White House on the need for increased cancer-related appropriations.

 

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