Lincoln - Nebraska cancer survivors and volunteers met with Congressman Fortenberry, Senator Johanns, Congressman Terry and their staffs, as well as the staff of Senator Fischer.
The goal was to call on Congress to make cancer a national priority during negotiations over the proposed federal budget cuts. The meetings were organized by the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN), the advocacy affiliate of the American Cancer Society.
June Ryan, an advocate from Lincoln, who attended the meetings, discussed the importance of maintaining our current levels of research and prevention funding.
"I lost my first husband to lung cancer," said Ryan, "and when I found out that we could have prevented his cancer, I thought it was important for me to educate our lawmakers on how cancer research and prevention funding can save more lives."
The meetings highlighted the threat posed by the March 1st mandatory, across-the-board federal cuts, known as "sequestration."
Sequestration could hinder future progress in the fight to end death and suffering related to cancer if these issues are not made a priority.
ACS CAN is calling on lawmakers to act to avoid these indiscriminate cuts and make the fight to defeat a disease that still kills 1,500 people a day in this country a national priority.
Federal funding for groundbreaking cancer research and lifesaving programs that promote prevention, early detection and improved access to health care are at risk of significant cuts. Congress needs to protect that funding for the estimated 1.6 million people in America who will be diagnosed with cancer this year and the 13.7 million cancer survivors living in the country today.
Not only would cuts jeopardize progress against cancer, but they would weaken the local economy.
It is estimated that 20,500 jobs in medical research across the country would be lost if the cuts go into effect, including 139 here in Nebraska.
An estimated 9,060 people in Nebraska will be diagnosed with cancer this year and 3,440 people will lose their lives to the disease.
For more information on the importance of cancer research, visit www.acscan.org/research.