SOURCE: LIVESTRONG Foundation

LIVESTRONG Foundation

July 08, 2013 08:00 ET

LIVESTRONG Foundation Advocates Descend on Washington, Urge Congress to Make Cancer a National Priority

Advocates Call for End to Sequestration and Increased Funding for Cancer Research and Prevention

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwired - Jul 8, 2013) - Dozens of LIVESTRONG Foundation cancer advocates from across the country are lobbying their members of Congress this week to protect and increase federal cancer research and prevention funding in the wake of recent devastating cuts. LIVESTRONG Foundation advocates, rallying as a part of the One Voice Against Cancer (OVAC) coalition, are mobilizing around the recent across-the-board federal budget cuts that slashed funding for cancer research, early detection, prevention, drug development, nurse education and childhood cancer registries at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). If Congress doesn't find a budget alternative to this year's sequestration cuts, cancer research and prevention face yet another round of similar, though deeper, cuts next year.

Representing about half of all of the OVAC participants this year, 42 leading LIVESTRONG Foundation advocates from 27 states are descending on Capitol Hill. They will share their first-hand experiences with cancer and urge for their member's support in elevating cancer as a national priority. The advocates have fought and survived the disease or watched a love one endure the daily challenges that accompany cancer, and have travelled from as close as Maryland to as far as California to bring awareness to these critical issues.

"LIVESTRONG Foundation advocates are in Washington to represent the more than 2.5 million people who have been helped through the Foundation's free cancer support services and the 14 million Americans who are living with cancer right now," said Doug Ulman, LIVESTRONG Foundation president and CEO. "These advocates are on the front line voicing the real-life challenges that families face when dealing with a cancer diagnosis and underscoring the impact Congress must make in fighting for increased funding for cancer research and programs to improve the lives our citizens. With cancer incidences projected to nearly double by 2020, Congress must act immediately to get cancer treatment and research funding back on track to meet this urgent and growing need."

OVAC is asking Congress to provide sustainable and predictable funding for NIH and NCI, requesting at least $32 billion in NIH funding in FY 2014, which would provide NCI with $5.2 billion, $286 million for the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities and $150 million for the National Institute on Nursing Research. The coalition is also strongly urging Congress to appropriate the $1 billion authorized in the Affordable Care Act for the Prevention and Public Health Fund to supplement, not supplant, other public health funding. The Fund will support community-based efforts to reduce tobacco use, improve nutrition and promote healthy environments, all critical in preventing cancer.

The LIVESTRONG Foundation is a long-time member of OVAC, a collaboration of national non-profit organizations representing millions of Americans that brings a unified message to Congress and the Administration about the need for increased cancer-related appropriations. The LIVESTRONG Foundation's mission is to improve the lives of people affected by cancer now. With 14 million Americans living with cancer today and about 4,500 new diagnoses daily in the U.S., the Foundation's holistic, patient-centered work is more critical than ever because research indicates this approach translates directly into improved quality of life.

About the LIVESTRONG Foundation
The LIVESTRONG Foundation provides free cancer support services to help people cope with the financial, emotional and practical challenges that accompany the disease. Created in 1997 by cancer survivor and philanthropist Lance Armstrong, the Foundation is known for its powerful brand -- LIVESTRONG -- and for its advocacy on behalf of survivors and their families. With its iconic yellow LIVESTRONG wristband, the Foundation has become a symbol of hope and inspiration around the world. Since its inception, the Foundation has served 2.5 million people affected by the disease and raised more than $500 million to support cancer survivors. One of America's top cancer non-profit organizations, the Foundation enjoys a four-star rating from Charity Navigator and has been recognized by the National Health Council and the Better Business Bureau for its excellent governance, high standards and transparency. For more information, visit LIVESTRONG.org.

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