childhood cancer action days, may 1-2, 2017

You're invited to join the Children's Cause for Cancer Advocacy and the Alliance for Childhood Cancer for the 6th Annual Childhood Cancer Action Days. This two-day event in Washington brings our community together to advocate for important childhood cancer issues currently before Congress.

Your Voice Matters: 

A strong showing of advocates at Action Days 2017 is more crucial than ever. We will be at a critical point in the legislative process on several key issues for children with cancer. Sharing your story in Washington this spring will ensure the voice of children with cancer is heard loud and clear!

The Details:

  • Monday, May 1st: Issues and Advocacy Training at the Renaissance Washington, DC Downtown Hotel (999 9th Street, NW, Washington, DC)
  • Tuesday, May 2nd: Kick-Off and pre-arranged meetings with Members of Congress and their staff on Capitol Hill
  • Registration is Now Open! A registration fee of $50 per family will help cover expenses, including breakfast and lunch on training day for all attendees. A limited number of scholarships will be available. Apply here by March 31st.
  • Transportation to/from Childhood Cancer Action Days is the responsibility of those attending.

Register here!

 

Hotel Reservations: 

The Alliance has a room block at the Renaissance Hotel for the nights of Sunday, April 30, Monday, May 1, and Tuesday, May 2. You may make reservations by calling (202) 898-9000 or by using the online booking link. We recommend you reserve your room early as the room block might reach capacity!

RESERVATIONS MUST BE MADE BY THE CUTOFF DATE OF APRIL 2.

Questions? Please contact alliance@asco.org.


An Advocate's Experience from 2016

This was the chance I’d been waiting for, the chance to advocate for a better quality of life.

Stacie Ritter from Pennsylvania is a mom of four, including twin girls who were diagnosed with cancer as toddlers. Stacie attended Action Day with her son Ethan.

The twin survivors were unable to attend this year for the very best reason:  they're finishing up their senior year in high school!

[Read the Twins' Story →]

Stacie and Ethan were proud to advocate on their behalf. Stacie was moved by remarks made by the Childhood Cancer Caucus chairs, Reps. Michael McCaul and Chris VanHollen.

“Representative McCaul gave an eloquent speech stating that he couldn’t think of a more appropriate place to hold a reception for childhood cancer than the Homeland Security Committee room, because childhood cancer is the number one threat to our children’s security," said Stacie.

Stacie and Ethan attended three meetings with Congressional offices and then spent some time dropping off informational materials to other Hill offices. Stacie told every Pennsylvania office: "Between the University of Pennsylvania, Penn State Hershey, and University of Pittsburgh research hospitals, Pennsylvania can be the state that reaches the Moonshot and finds the cure for cancer!"

Stacie, a vocal and engaged advocate around local issues back home, last attended a lobbying event in Washington in 2009. Back then, advocating for the Caroline Pryce Walker Conquer Childhood Cancer Act, Stacie found herself out-of-place, surrounded by parents whose children had died battling cancer. She wrote to us at the time that it was "a very traumatic day, considering I brought my twin daughters along thinking it would be educational and empowering for them, knowing they can and do make a difference! Instead, they heard story after story from parents whose children had relapsed and died."

"My heart broke for those parents, and I was reminded how fortunate I am to still have my girls with me," Stacie said, reflecting on her experience from seven years ago. "But I left that day feeling that I'd been unable to make a difference regarding survivorship issues. At the time, under those circumstances, I didn't feel like I had a right to 'complain' about late effects issues in a room full of parents who would have given anything to have their child back."

"This year was different," Stacie told us, relieved. "Out of seven families from Pennsylvania, five were telling stories about their children surviving. This was the chance I'd been waiting for, the chance to advocate for a better quality of life.

"Could we have made strides in the last 7 years? Or was it just coincidental?" Stacie wonders. "Maybe it was a little of both. What I do know is this:  I now have renewed hope that in another 7 years, the table will be full of survivors -- all coming to DC to say thanks for supporting legislation that made this possible!"