Chasing Away Childhood Cancer

“Moving The Needle”

Author Donna Carroll Carmical, in her article “Moving the Needle,” discusses the recent hearing in Washington, DC on the National Institute of Health budget. She explains how out of the total 30 billion dollar budget the NIH has, five billion of that goes to cancer, and only 3.9% of the cancer money goes specifically towards childhood cancer funding. Before the trial, advocates from the childhood cancer community, including Carmical, used the #Morethan4 campaign in order to promote the importance of childhood cancer research to Senators. Their beliefs and efforts support the idea that the NIH needs to no longer “virtually ignore childhood cancer research in its budget.” On April 30, Carmical attended the hearing, with high hopes that Senators would address the lack of childhood cancer funding. However, after two full hours of questions on heart disease, Alzheimer’s, Ebola, and AIDS, Carmical explains that there was no discussion on childhood cancer, or even children’s health in general. What makes this lack of childhood cancer conversation so disappointing, is the fact that without a larger budget, Carmical says it will be decades before our children see a cure for the disease. She explains how due to our lack of childhood cancer research, we often use “downsized adult protocols to treat kids,” leading to major impacts on the young patients including chronic health problems. Hence, children need to become a “priority” to the Federal government, a notion Carmial believes is not yet understood. However, even after the trial, Carmical remains hopeful with the NIH and getting the budget changed. She ends her article with a call to action for her readers to continue spreading awareness for childhood cancer funding, With final budget decisions in 2016, it is important that Senators and Representatives know the importance of a bigger childhood cancer budget to the American people. Carmical knows our country is capable of helping to “Give kids the cures they deserve!”

Read Carmical’s entire article here: