Brain Tumor Survivors, Families, and Caregivers Take the Hill

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The call for medical research on brain tumors finds Congress a receptive audience.

There is one issue that there should be no debate about: the need to fight brain tumors. On May 3, a dedicated group of advocates took this message to Washington, D.C. to ensure that vital brain tumor research will continue to be funded.

Advocates from around the country including brain tumor survivors, caregivers, and those who have lost loved ones to the disease took part in the National Brain Tumor Society’s Brain Tumor Action Week visits to Capitol Hill. They met with their Senators and Representatives and asked them to maintain and even increase funding for the National Institutes of Health to provide the best opportunities for breakthroughs.

“Funding research on brain tumors is especially important because there hasn’t been a wealth of new treatments available in many years, a sad fact that distinguishes this disease from other forms of cancer,” explained N. Paul TonThat, executive director of the National Brain Tumor Society. “Cancer science has advanced to a point where the research community is on the cusp of discovery.”

In addition to presenting Congress with a strong case that funding medical research was necessary in the next federal budget, the advocates inspired all those they met with their personal stories. Andrea Bortles of Boise, Idaho, now 31 years of age, was one of those who shared how brain tumors affected her life. “I was diagnosed at 28 and am truly one of the lucky ones thanks to therapies developed as a result of medical research on brain tumors.”

While the federal budget process for Fiscal Year 2012 continues to be under debate, NBTS and the brain tumor community plan to keep the momentum going to fight for research funding. NBTS also will continue to do its part to fund promising, innovative research to lead to the most rapid development of new treatments for adult and pediatric brain tumors, and ultimately, to cures. The trip to Capitol Hill followed the Race for Hope-DC, one of 13 fundraising events hosted by NBTS. Close to 12,000 people ran and walked along Pennsylvania Avenue to raise money and awareness for the fight against brain tumors.

NBTS brings together the best of research, patient services, and advocacy and to be the largest comprehensive resources for brain tumor patients, families, caregivers, researchers and healthcare professionals. Visit http://www.braintumor.org for more information.

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Lisa McEvoy
National Brain Tumor Society
(617) 924-9777
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