Local activist urges Congress to focus on cancer research

comm-cancer-activist-2Southington’s Trever Rogers, 18, met with Sen. Chris Murphy, and staff members for Sen. Richard Blumenthal, Rep. John Larson, and Rep. Joe Courtney in September to urge federal lawmakers to increase funding for cancer research. The meeting came during the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) Leadership Summit and Lobby Day.

Rogers also asked lawmakers to advance legislation that works to improve patients’ quality of life, and to support legislation that would close a loophole in Medicare that often results in surprise costs for seniors when a polyp is found during a routine colonoscopy.

“I am urging our lawmakers to commit to ending cancer as we know it by increasing federal funding for cancer research, supporting improvements to patient quality of life and eliminating surprise costs for seniors getting colorectal cancer screenings,” Rogers said in a press release. “Making these lifesaving policies a priority and moving them forward this year will help eliminate death and suffering from cancer.”

Specifically, Rogers and his fellow volunteers asked their Members of Congress to support an increase of $680 million for the National Cancer Institute and advance legislation to improve the quality of life of cancer patients with better access to palliative care. The group was supporting the Removing Barriers to Colorectal Cancer Screenings Act to improve Medicare funding to increase colorectal cancer screening.

“We need a full and unwavering commitment from Congress to take action to help prevent and treat cancer,” said Rogers. “One in two men and one in three women will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime. Their lives may depend on the decisions made by our lawmakers today – we can’t afford further delays.”

Before meeting with their legislators, cancer advocates attended training sessions on communicating with elected officials, conducting grassroots activities in their communities and engaging the media.

The ACS CAN Lobby Day culminated with an evening Lights of Hope ceremony in front of the U.S. Capitol Reflecting Pool featuring more than 20,000 lights lit in honor of a cancer survivor or to memorialize a loved one who lost his or her life to the disease.

For more information, visit www.acscan.org.

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