10-year-old brain cancer survivor from New Jersey gets standing ovation at State of the Union
In his State of the Union Tuesday night, President Trump vowed to act to bring drug prices down, protect people with pre-existing conditions, make insurance and hospital costs more transparent, eliminate HIV in the U.S. within the next 10 years, and invest $500 million in childhood cancer research over the next decade.
"Together we will defeat AIDS in America and beyond. Tonight I am also asking you to join me in another fight that all Americans can get behind, the fight against childhood cancer," he said.
"Joining Melania in the gallery this evening is a very brave 10-year-old girl, Grace Eline [applause erupted]. . . Every birthday since she was four, Grace asked her friends to donate to St. Jude's Children's Hospital. She did not know that one day she might be a patient herself. That's what happened. Last year, Grace was diagnosed with brain cancer. Immediately she began radiation treatment. At the same time, she rallied her community and raised more than $40,000 for the fight against cancer. [more applause] When Grace completed treatment last fall, her doctors and nurses cheered, they loved her, they still love her, with tears in their eyes, as she hung up a poster that read, "Last day of chemo." [more applause]
"Many childhood cancers have not seen new therapies in decades. My budget will call for a $500 million in the next 10 years to support this lifesaving research," the President said.
In regards to pre-existing conditions and drug prices, the President said a "major priority for me and for all of us should be to lower the cost of health care and prescription drugs and to protect patients with pre-existing conditions. . . It's unacceptable that Americans pay vastly more than people in other countries for the exact same drugs, often made in the exact same place. This is wrong, this is unfair, and together we will stop it, and we'll stop it fast."
Here is a response from ACS CAN President Lisa Lacasse:
"ACS CAN commends the administration for continuing to elevate the important issue of childhood cancer research. Cancer remains the leading disease-related cause of death among U.S. children.
"Federally-funded cancer research is the engine that drives ongoing progress in the fight against pediatric cancers. Passage of the STAR Act this past June with overwhelming bipartisan support reflects the priority lawmakers place on addressing a disease that affects some of the most vulnerable in our nation. ACS CAN calls on Congress and the administration to fully fund the STAR Act in the FY20 budget and ensure childhood cancer research remains a national priority."