Local Cancer Advocate Travels to Washington, D.C., to Urge Congress to Fund Research, Prevention
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – May 16, 2018 — American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network volunteer Courtney Hurtig, of Overland Park, joined more than 100 other cancer patients, survivors, caregivers, physicians and researchers in Washington, D.C., this week to urge lawmakers to make fighting cancer a top national priority. These advocates united as part of the 19th annual One Voice Against Cancer lobby day to request cancer research funding at the National Cancer Institute and National Institutes of Health.
“As an advocate, I’m grateful to Congress for the strong bipartisan support it has demonstrated over the past three years through budget increases for NIH and NCI,” Hurtig said. “Even with these recent increases, however, NIH and NCI are still way below what funding levels were just 15 years ago when you account for inflation. If we don’t continue making cancer research a budget priority, potential cures will languish in labs, and the significant breakthroughs we’re so close to making will go unfunded.”
Hurtig joined fellow volunteers from ACS CAN and other organizations to meet with members of Congress and their staff. Volunteers asked Congress to:
- Support a $39.3 billion budget for NIH in fiscal year 2019, including funding provided from the 21st Century Cures Act;
- Support $6.375 billion for NCI; and
- Support $517 million for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cancer programs.
An overwhelming 92 percent of voters favor federal funding for medical research, and more than 70 percent want Congress to significantly increase NIH funding, according to new research commissioned by OVAC.
Hurtig has been an ACS CAN volunteer for two years and currently attends law school at Kansas University, where she focuses on health care. She began volunteering for the American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life at 15 years old, when her best friend’s stepmother was diagnosed with breast cancer. This year will be her 12th year as a Relay volunteer.
In Kansas, it is estimated that more than 15,000 people will be diagnosed with cancer in 2018, and 5,600 will die from the disease. For a full list of the OVAC health care groups joining ACS CAN in this year’s lobby day, visit http://ovaconline.org/members.html.
ACS CAN, the nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate of the American Cancer Society, supports evidence-based policy and legislative solutions designed to eliminate cancer as a major health problem. ACS CAN works to encourage elected officials and candidates to make cancer a top national priority. ACS CAN gives ordinary people extraordinary power to fight cancer with the training and tools they need to make their voices heard. For more information, visit www.acscan.org.
LOCAL ADVOCATE URGES CONGRESS TO FUND CANCER RESEARCH – Courtney Hurtig (left), of Overland Park, meets with Congressman Kevin Yoder (right, R-KS) in his office in Washington, D.C., on Monday, May 14. The meeting was part of the 19th annual One Voice Against Cancer lobby day, in which more than 100 cancer advocates like Hurtig urged their members of Congress to support cancer research funding at the National Cancer Institute and National Institutes of Health. In Kansas, it is estimated that more than 15,000 people will be diagnosed with cancer in 2018, and 5,600 will die from the disease.