CAAC Joins CAC2 and ACC in Washington
On Monday June 15th, Chase After a Cure Founder Whitney Ringler and Executive Director Adam White set out for Washington DC to take part in the family advocacy day hosted by The Alliance for Childhood Cancer (ACC). The ACC is an advocacy organization that unites several hundred advocates and organizations annually for the purpose of advocating for more childhood cancer research funds and legislation. This year over 100 organizations and families consisting of 300 or more advocates came together to take specific calls of action to Congress. The Advocacy Day for childhood cancer consisted of training and getting acquainted with fellow advocates, as well as learning more about the issues and how to present them effectively to the representatives and their staffs. Each advocate was grouped with other people from their states. Whitney and Adam were the only residents from South Carolina, and they were given appointments with four member offices. Later in the day as training was wrapping up the advocates were visited by Congressman Michael McCaul from Texas. Congressman McCaul is the co-chair of the childhood cancer Caucasus, which consist of several dozen bipartisan representatives. Congressmen McCaul was greeted with a rousing standing ovation by advocates, and he then followed the ovation with a powerful speech, which focused on the vital importance of fighting childhood cancer and improving the quality of life in the survival, in particular as it pertains to the importance of The Star act that he is introducing. It says a lot when The Chairman of The Homeland Defense Committee and Foreign Affairs Committee member takes the time to dedicate real commitment to defeating childhood cancer.
On the second day, advocates took the issues they were trained and briefed on to the hill and were able to present them to the respective offices. The two specific actions they were given was to ask collectively for more funding for The NIH and NCI (which is crucial in the fight against childhood cancer), and to compel our representatives to co-sponsor or sponsor a bill called The Star Act. The following day, the advocates were given their appointment information packets, and were off to the races after a speech by Sen. Jack Reed from Rhode Island. Adam and Whitney dropped off packets to seven congressional offices, met with an additional four congressional offices, and were even able to meet with one representative, Congressmen Mark Sanford. While meeting with Congressman Sanford, Whitney and Adam bumped into and had the pleasure of meeting The President of Clemson, who was very interested in the cause. After the long day of visiting numerous offices, representing the single voice and only group from South Carolina, our CAAC leaders felt they had accomplished their goals in representing South Carolina and the fight for childhood cancer research. The next and final day in DC, Whitney and Adam attended The Annual Coalition Against Childhood Cancer Summit, in which Chase After a Cure is a proud member. Coalition Against Childhood Cancer is an organization that consists of over 100 organizations and parent advocates from across the world. The day was full of great speakers and panelist from all different backgrounds including: doctors, researchers, Pharma reps, advocates, parents of children lost or fighting cancer and so many more. Whitney and Adam were emerged in a room full of very driven members of CAC2, who are all working for collaborative action to advocate for childhood cancer-related funding, raising awareness about the disease, family support, and research. Overall, DC was a massive success for not only CAAC, but for everyone helping to chase after a cure for childhood cancer!