In the House of Representatives, you may have heard that childhood cancer is rare. It only affects a small number of kids. Well, it’s not as rare as most people think. This year, here in America alone, the survivors of childhood cancer number over 500,000 people. Even when someone survives, it’s not over. More than 90% of the survivors have serious health problems due to the “life-saving” treatments they received. Many die at an early age. Most treatments are radiation and toxic, adult treatments such as 60-year old chemo. Chemo was designed to kill the fastest growing cells (cancer, hair, eye lashes, salvia, etc.) in an adult, but it does the same in children! Think about it, ALL CELLS in a child are fast growing. All the survivors have a story to tell, for them, it’s not over when the hair grows back. All are passionate about not wanting to see others suffer as they have.
If you think the survivors are passionate, think about all the family members who watched a child die from cancer. About 20% of children who get cancer do not survive five years after being diagnosed. There are thousands of independent childhood cancer organizations raising money for cancer research. They shave their heads, sell lemonade, have bake sales, golf tournaments, and organize walks, runs, fashion shows and whatever else will help to raise money. Why do they do that? Even though it is the number one disease killer of children, as reflected in the National Cancer Institute’s own Funded Research Portfolio, NCI only spent 3.97% of it’s budget on childhood cancer. In fact, cancer kills more kids than all other diseases combined.
Look around your own district, you will find people passionate about childhood cancer.
HR 4429, calls on NCI to apportion research investment more appropriately based more on population using the 2020 census as a guide. We feel today’s split of 96% for adults and 4% for children under 20 years old is not fair. A child who dies from cancer will lose 72 years of life compared to 6 or 8 for an adult. We want fairness for children fighting cancer.
Please join us by cosponsoring HR 4429 -Fairness to Kids with Cancer Act of 2019.