CHILDHOOD CANCER ACTION DAYS 2018: April 23-24
The Alliance for Childhood Cancer will host this year's Childhood Cancer Action Days in Washington, DC on April 23-24, 2018. Registration is now open!
Once again, organizational members of the Alliance for Childhood Cancer - including the Children's Cause - will host a two-day event that includes new advocate training, issues and advocacy training, and pre-arranged Capitol Hill visits with Congressional Representatives and their staff.
The Alliance's goal is to provide the childhood cancer community - parents, children, healthcare professionals and others - with the opportunity to advocate for the important childhood cancer issues currently before Congress.
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS:
Training will be held on Monday, April 23, 2018. A full schedule of training events will be sent out closer to the event date, but here is a brief layout for the day:
9:00am : Registration and Breakfast
10:00 - 11:30am : New Advocate Training
12:00 - 5:00pm : Issues and Advocacy Training (Please note that this training is mandatory & lunch will be provided)
On Tuesday, April 24th, the Alliance will host a kick-off breakfast from 7:30-9:00am before our Congressional meetings begin. Advocates will take to Capitol Hill to visit our Members of Congress and their staff. The Alliance will schedule these meetings for you, and while each advocate's schedule might be different, you can expect meetings to conclude around 5pm EST.
Childhood Cancer Action Days 2017
Approximately 200 childhood cancer advocates took to Capitol Hill for this year's Alliance for Childhood Cancer Action Days at the beginning of May. Attendees from 32 states spent a full day receiving issues and advocacy training, followed by a busy day of meetings with Members of Congress and their staffs.
We were proud to be part of this annual event and thank all the attendees for their dedicated advocacy efforts, including those who joined in virtually by writing, tweeting or calling their Members of Congress.
An Advocate's Experience from 2016
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!
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!"