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Make cancer a national priority

Two weeks ago, I traveled to Washington D.C., to represent cancer patients and survivors from West Linn and Oregon by asking Congress to make cancer a national priority. I joined more than 600 American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) volunteers from all over the country in asking lawmakers to protect funding for cancer research and prevention programs. I met with aides for Ron Wyden, Jeff Merkley, Earl Blumenauer and Kurt Schrader, making it clear that Congress needs to move beyond partisanship for the benefit of the nearly 14 million cancer survivors in the United States and the more than 1.6 million Americans who will be diagnosed this year. This includes more than 21,000 Oregonians who will receive the cancer diagnosis in 2012 and the nearly 8,000 who will die from this terrible and dreaded disease. I know this firsthand. I lost my wife nine years ago to lung and liver cancer. Funding for research at the National Institutes of Health and for cancer prevention at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and through the new Prevention and Public Health Fund must be top priorities in our federal budget. Legislation recently introduced in both houses of Congress to improve the quality of life for cancer patients must also be a top priority. By making cancer a national priority, we will ensure that progress continues in the battle against what my wife called “the dragon of cancer.” Please let your representatives in Congress know of your support for winning the war on cancer.

Eric Jones

ASC CAN volunteer

West Linn