The appropriation bill passed in Congress and signed by President Barack Obama Friday dedicates $12.6 million to the Gabriella Miller Kids First Research Fund for fiscal year 2016.
The Gabriella Miller Kids First Research Act was signed into law by the president in 2014 and named after a 10-year-old Leesburg girl who lost her battle to a rare brain disease in October 2013. In the year before her death, Gabriella raised awareness about childhood cancer and inspired the creation of the Smashing Walnuts Foundation, referencing her walnut-sized brain tumor.
The foundation works to secure funding for the Kids First Research Fund and other critical programs aimed at eradicating devastating childhood diseases.
The Gabriella Miller Kids First Research Act is slated to redirect more than $120 million from political conventions to childhood cancer research over the next decade.
Just 4 percent of federal spending on cancer research is directed to childhood cancer, according to a press release from the Smashing Walnuts Foundation, and little progress has been made in fighting most childhood cancers in more than a generation.
“However, we remain hopeful,” Ellyn Miller, Gabriella’s mother and executive director of the Smashing Walnuts Foundation, stated in the press release. “We are extraordinarily grateful to Congress for continuing to fund research on childhood diseases as part of the NIH’s FY 2016 budget, and for recognizing the importance of focusing on cancer.”
Learn more about the Smashing Walnuts Foundation at smashingwalnuts.org.