Hundreds of advocates will head to Washington, D.C. to urge their lawmakers to make cancer a national priority
Next week, nearly 700 cancer patients, survivors, and their loved ones will travel to the nation's capital for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network's (ACS CAN) annual Leadership Summit and Lobby Day, which will be held from Sep. 8 to 11.
The advocates will represent all 50 states and nearly every congressional district as they convene on Capitol Hill to ask Congress to make the fight against cancer a national priority. Read below for the week's busy agenda and to see how you can stay up-to-date on the action!
Sunday, Sept. 8 – Monday, Sept. 9
Hundreds of volunteers will gather in D.C. on Sunday, just in time for the annual ACS CAN Advocacy Awards Dinner, where dedicated ACS CAN volunteers and staff will be recognized for their outstanding work in cancer advocacy. Check My Society Source on Monday morning for a full list of award recipients.
The advocates will spend Monday in breakout and training sessions to prepare for their lawmaker meetings the next day, as well as hear from U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar.
Tuesday, Sept. 10
On September 10, ACS CAN volunteers will head to Capitol Hill and ask their members of Congress to:
- Increase federal funding for cancer research and prevention programs at the National Institutes of Health by at least $2 billion;
- Advance the Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act (PCHETA), legislation that would support patients' quality of life by increasing access to palliative care;
- Support the Removing Barriers to Colorectal Cancer Screenings Act, 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;
- Support the Reversing the Youth Tobacco Epidemic Act and the Stopping Appealing Flavors in E-Cigarettes for Kids Act, legislation that would restrict flavoring of tobacco products to protect kids.
NCAA Division I basketball coaches Fran McCaffery of the University of Iowa, Jamion Christian of George Washington University, and retired coach and two-time cancer survivor Dave Rose of Brigham and Young University will rally the advocates before they go to Capitol Hill for their meetings with lawmakers. The coaches are members of Coaches vs. Cancer®, a nationwide collaboration between the American Cancer Society and the National Association of Basketball Coaches™.
The coaches and advocates will be joined by several representatives from the Gates Millennium Scholars program as part of its collaboration with ACS CAN, along with selected Gen2End Ambassadors and representatives of the Campus Leadership Team. A full list of these attendees is below.
Throughout the day, volunteers will participate in interviews as part of the radio and television media tour that is coordinated to promote Leadership Summit & Lobby Day.
The ACS CAN Lobby Day will end with an evening Lights of HOPE ceremony at the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool featuring more than 40,000 lights to honor those who have been touched by cancer. The ACS CAN Lights of HOPE ceremony is presented by Celgene. Follow @ACSCAN and #LightsofHope on Twitter and Instagram for live updates and photos from the powerful event.
Wednesday, Sept. 11
Leadership Summit and Lobby Day will conclude on Wednesday with a keynote address from actress and cancer survivor Marcia Cross.
Stay Up to Date with #CancerLobbyDay
Volunteers are encouraged to stay up to date with Leadership Summit & Lobby Day by following @ACSCAN on social media. Live updates and photos will be shared throughout the week using #CancerLobbyDay and #LightsofHope. You can also check My Society Source and ACS CAN President Lisa Lacasse's Cancer CANdor Blog for updates as the week goes on.
Gates Scholars: Aracely Navarro, Crystal Harrell, Carolina Regalado Murillo, Hananiel Setiawan, Antone Morrison, and Briana Flatley
Gen2End Ambassadors: Bridget Toomey, Remy Kennedy, Melissa Koshy, Asra Sami, Harry Jensen, Milo Gringlas, and Dana Bernson
Campus Leadership Team: Cindy Vo, Rebecca Powell, Anita Sloan, Hannah Gaffney, and Nathan Farnor