Editor: Imagine sitting in a doctor’s office and being diagnosed with cancer. It was one of the scariest moments of my life. As a 39-year-old mother, all I could think about were my three kids all under the age of nine. Fortunately, though, I’m a survivor as my cancer was removed through surgery. But, unfortunately my odds are still not 100 percent. Reoccurrence takes place at the highest rates in the first five years of recovery.
Now that my life has new meaning, I see greater value in the research-funding bill that passed Congress and was signed into law by the president than I ever would have seen before. This landmark, medical research bill will stimulate medical innovation and produce better detection, management, and eventually treatments and cures of devastating diseases. The 21st Century Cures legislation will also facilitate the process for developing and delivering new treatments to patients suffering from cancer and will allocate $1.8 billion dollars for cancer research to the National Institute of Health. Furthermore, this bill includes additional funding for the purposes of accelerating advancements in cancer research as part of Vice President Joe Biden’s National Cancer Moonshot launched in response to the untimely and tragic death of his son, Beau Biden, last year. The aim of this initiative is to improve our ability to prevent cancer and detect it at an early stage and spur a decade’s worth of advances in five years in the fight against cancer.
I want to commend Rep. Barbara Comstock for both cosponsoring the 21st Century Cures Act and for advocating the importance of this legislation at every turn to her colleagues before the final vote. While I’m fortunate enough to be here today, many others who have been diagnosed with cancer aren’t so lucky. This bill will not only bring hope to the millions of Americans battling cancer, but more importantly it may prove to be life saving for many cancer patients.
Allison Tinney, Round Hill