Alexandria, VA (PRWEB) March 17, 2014
Colorectal cancer advocates from across the nation will make their voices heard among lawmakers as the advocacy organization Fight Colorectal Cancer hosts its eighth annual advocacy day in Washington, D.C. and organizational leaders make their voices heard at a national news conference and the White House.
“Our advocates work year-round supporting colorectal cancer awareness and prevention across the country,” said Anjee Davis, interim executive director of Fight Colorectal Cancer. “We have had unprecedented enthusiasm and grassroots action this year and we’re thrilled to support a national screening goal of 80 percent screened by 2018 and honored to receive an invitation to the White House.”
During the eighth annual three-day event, Call-on Congress, advocates will receive information regarding important policies that influence colorectal cancer screening and research in the U.S., as well as training sessions to empower them to share their personal stories. Advocates will receive lobby training in Alexandria, Va. March 16-17 and visit with elected officials and staff members on Capitol Hill March 18.
“Going into my eighth year as an advocate lobbying on the Hill for colorectal cancer screening and research, I feel empowered, enriched and solidified that what I'm doing matters, my time matters, my efforts matter and most importantly, my voice matters,” said Pam Seijo, a colorectal cancer survivor and advocate from West Virginia. “What lifts me up and gives me the strength to speak clearly and forcefully is knowing that advocates from across the U.S. have the same passion and that our voices are being heard not only for ourselves but those that no longer have one.”
This year advocates will request funding for programs at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Colorectal Cancer Control Program and colorectal cancer research at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and Department of Defense (DoD). Advocates will also ask members of Congress to support a key piece of legislation that seeks to remove the “loophole” in Medicare law that creates cost-sharing for patients when a polyp is removed during colonoscopy, H.R. 1070 – Removing Barriers to Colorectal Cancer Screening Act.
More than 80 advocates will attend Call-on Congress, several of whom make up the more than one million colorectal cancer survivors living in the U.S.
80 by 2018 Launch
To amplify the organization’s advocacy efforts and represent patient voices, the organization’s founder and board chair, Nancy Roach, will join Davis and other members of the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable for a meeting with White House staff to discuss national screening priorities and H.R. 1070 at 11 a.m. March 17.
The meeting will precede a national press conference launching the “80 by 2018” national colorectal cancer screening goal at 1 p.m. March 17 hosted by the American Cancer Society and coalition partners at the National Press Club. Roach from Fight Colorectal Cancer will join other speakers including a prestigious panel of experts: Dr. Richard Wender, National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable Chair and Chief Cancer Control Officer, American Cancer Society; Dr. Howard Koh, Assistant Secretary for Health, Department of Health and Human Services; John Seffrin, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer, American Cancer Society; Dr. Ronald Vender, American College of Gastroenterology; among others.
Advocates Tour the White House
To conclude the week of advocacy, advocates from the organization will join others in the colorectal cancer community at the White House March 19. Following a tour, the group will serve as audience to remarks regarding the presidential proclamation recognizing March 2014 as Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month.
“We are honored to receive an invitation to the White House and proud to stand amongst those invited to the Blue Room to support and bring attention to this critically important cause,” said Davis. “As an advocacy organization, we believe prevention of colorectal cancer is a national priority!”
For more information regarding Fight Colorectal Cancer’s legislative events, please visit http://www.FightColorectalCancer.org/Advocate.
Call-on Congress is sponsored by: Bayer HealthCare; Bristol-Myers Squibb; Genomic Health; Genentech; Eli Lilly; Exact Sciences; Quest Diagnostics; Given Imaging; Quicken Loans; and epigenomics.
About Fight Colorectal Cancer
Fight Colorectal Cancer is a leading colorectal cancer nonprofit in Washington, D.C. Through patient education, advocacy and research funding, the group spreads awareness and demands a cure for the second-leading killer in the United States. As the leading advocacy group, the organization serves as a resource for colorectal cancer patients, grassroots advocates, policy makers, medical professionals and health care providers. Learn more at http://www.FightColorectalCancer.org.