Year in Review: Highlights of 2017

Thank you! With your help, we made real progress this year on important policy issues impacting children with cancer and childhood cancer survivors.

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As the year comes to a close, we want to share some of our highlights from 2017 with you:

After years of effort, we achieved passage of the Research to Accelerate Cures and Equity for Children (RACE) Act, important legislation affecting kids and families with cancer that was signed into law in August. Passage of the RACE Act was a landmark achievement made possible by community collaboration, intensive stakeholder negotiations with Congressional champions, and all of you -- grassroots advocates speaking up to make your voices heard.

The year kicked off with the re-introduction of the Childhood Cancer STAR Act -- legislation that now has support from approximately 75% of the United States House of Representatives! The bipartisan STAR Act is the most comprehensive legislation ever taken up by Congress.  Its passage would be the culmination of many years’ worth of research, relationship-building and hard work.

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We launched a free Advocacy Toolkit - a guide to grassroots advocacy that arms both new and experienced advocates with tools and resources needed to contact and impact Members of Congress about policy issues relating to childhood cancer. Through our new toolkit and our expanding Kids Action Network, we're mobilizing and engaging more advocates than ever before in pursuit of our mission to achieve a day when every child with cancer can live a long and healthy life.

We investigated and highlighted problem areas for families of children with cancer, including coverage access and financial toxicity, through a webinar, a family survey, and co-hosting a panel discussion on Capitol Hill. We're turning the lessons we've learned into concrete policy solutions to pursue in the coming year.

We sent thousands of letters to Congress about critical policy priorities. We also worked with coalitions like the Alliance for Childhood Cancer to bring advocates to Capitol Hill to meet with their legislators face-to-face and share their story.

In national debates on healthcare, we have spoken up time and again to protect affordable, accessible, high-quality care for children with cancer and survivors. Thanks to strong advocacy like ours, children with pre-existing conditions continue to receive care without discrimination and there are no lifetime caps on a child's coverage. Our battle to renew the successful, bipartisan Children's Health Insurance Program continues to gain support in Congress.

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We were proud to present the second annual Leonard M. Rosen Research Award to Aaron Kesselheim, MD, JD, MPH, in New York City. Dr. Kesselheim is Director of the Program On Regulation, Therapeutics, and Law (PORTAL) at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Kesselheim was selected for the second annual presentation of this award in recognition of his critical research advancing treatments and access for children battling cancer.

In other notable news from 2017, our founder Susan Weiner, PhD, received the Partners in Progress Award from the American Society of Clinical Oncology over the summer. The Partners in Progress Award recognizes a person involved in patient advocacy activities that supports legislative efforts around research, treatment, prevention and care.

We're proud of the year we've had, and we're grateful for friends like you who make this progress possible. 

Jessica Kean