Metavivor Announces the Stage IV Stampede and Launch of the 2019-2020 Advocacy Agenda

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Metavivor presents its advocacy initiative to help increase funding for research and to improve access to benefits for people with stage IV, metastatic cancer

Stage IV Stampede on Washington D.C. for Metastatic Breast Cancer - October 10-11, 2019

Metavivor's Stage IV Stampede, march on Washington DC is in its third year. More than 230 metastatic breast cancer patients will convene on Washington DC for two days of training, marching and congressional visits to enlighten leaders about the need for additional metastatic cancer research.

METAvivor Research and Support Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to funding research for Stage IV, metastatic breast cancer, announced the launch of its Stage IV Stampede campaign. The campaign will commence with two days of action and education on October 10 and 11, 2019 in Washington, DC that will include an advocacy boot camp, a march, a Die-In (hosted by partner MET-UP), and visits with Congressional offices. The day of action is the beginning of a focused, grassroots advocacy and awareness-raising effort to request increased funding for research on stage IV metastatic cancer, to encourage NCI and CDC to count those with metastatic disease and to request expedited access to healthcare and benefits for people with stage IV disease.

Metastatic breast cancer (also known as stage IV or advanced stage cancer) is the spread of breast cancer to non-adjacent parts of the body -- most commonly to the bones, liver, lungs and/or brain. Currently, metastatic breast cancer is minimally treatable, but not survivable. Much of the current metastatic cancer research is focused on preventing metastasis rather than trying to save the lives of those who have already metastasized. Metastatic breast cancer accounts for 99% of the more than 41,000 annual deaths due to breast cancer. Metastases is not unique to breast cancer, all cancers can and do metastasize thus, approximately 600,000 Americans continue to perish each year as a result, and 90% of those individuals die from cancers that have spread.

METAvivor has partnered with a number of organizations for the event, including Living Beyond Breast Cancer, the Male Breast Cancer Coalition, MET-Up and For the Breast of Us to help share the importance of advocating for addition Corporate sponsors of the advocacy plan include Novartis, Pfizer, Seattle Genetics and Eisai.

The coalition of organizations is focused on achieving the following specific goals:

1. Expand the metastatic cancer research portfolio at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 & FY 2020 through growth in appropriations and demonstrated congressional interest in controlling and eliminating cancer that has already disseminated (metastasized).

2. Ensure the continued growth of the Breast Cancer Research Program (BCRP) within the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program (CDMRP) at the Department of Defense (DoD) in FY 2019 and FY 2020, and encourage prioritization of research opportunities for already disseminated, metastatic, stage IV cancers since eliminating breast cancer through prevention has failed.

3. Raise awareness of already disseminated, metastatic, stage IV cancer and the unique needs of affected individuals on Capitol Hill and among the general public and advocate the need for new codes for patients with a diagnosis of already disseminated, metastatic cancer so that this population can be correctly counted in the SEER database.

4. Support efforts to protect metastatic cancer patients access to quality, affordable healthcare, innovative therapies, and end the waiting period for disability and Medicare benefits for individuals facing terminal illness.

5. Support efforts to ensure new treatment options for metastatic cancer patients, in all forms, are available and are treated equally and that there is no drug disparity.

Michael Kovarik, Vice President of METAvivor, said, "METAvivor is pleased to partner with organizations, patients and supporters to launch this critical advocacy program. We believe that it is vital that we change the conversation around breast cancer to include a focus on stage IV metastatic breast cancer and the need for social services and research funding. We have the potential to make a significant difference in the survival of many metastatic patients but we cannot do this without substantial change in how we fund research."

To learn more about METAvivor’s Stage IV Stampede visit Metavivor Stage IV Stampede.

ABOUT METAVIVOR

METAvivor Research and Support Inc. is an Annapolis-based, 501(c)(3), non-profit organization founded by metastatic breast cancer (MBC) patients in 2009. METAvivor’s main mission is to fund research for metastatic breast cancer. The organization also works to raise awareness of MBC, provide education and support for people living with the disease, and offers many opportunities for others to help make a difference for the metastatic community. 100% of all donations made to METAvivor go to fund critical research that will lead to advances in treatment options, quality of life and survival for patients diagnosed with MBC.

Since 2009, METAvivor has expanded nationwide and awarded over $7.4 million in research grants for stage IV metastatic breast cancer. METAvivor has gained a rapidly growing following within the breast cancer community and has become a leader in its field. METAvivor is the only national organization with a peer-reviewed grant program aimed at exclusively funding Metastatic Breast Cancer research.

Visit us at METAvivor.org, and follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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Sonya Negley
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