Marisa Vertrees | October 11, 2016
On September 22, the Prevent Cancer Foundation joined more than 100 organizations in the Rally for Medical Research. This annual event brings together advocates, patients, researchers and doctors to tell our lawmakers to support increased funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Medical research leads to lifesaving breakthroughs—that means helping our loved ones reduce their risk for several diseases and better outcomes for those facing deadly diseases.
In recent years, medical research has suffered, along with other parts of the federal government, and these cuts limit the amount of research and projects the NIH can fund. Luckily, there is a strong bipartisan understanding that we need more breakthroughs in early cancer detection, better understanding of disease prevention and quicker development of new treatments and cures.
Last year, advocates across the country met face-to-face with Members of Congress on Capitol Hill or called their offices to make sure they heard the message. Thanks to their hard work, Congress increased the NIH budget by $2 billion. But sadly, when accounting for inflation, that budget was still 20 percent less than what NIH received in 2003. That’s why 300 people went to the Hill for this year’s Rally and encouraged our lawmakers to make research funding a priority.
Prevent Cancer Foundation staff met with Senators and Representatives to talk about the importance of funding the NIH. We discussed the need for increased funding with politicians on both sides of the aisle—and though they agreed, they still need to hear from their constituents. In order to build on our success, we need more advocates to call or write in and encourage their Senators and Representatives to support increased funding for NIH when they vote on next year’s budget after the election.
The Rally for Medical Research was an encouraging day. It was uplifting to see different organizations come together and hear from so many Members of Congress that they support medical research. Now, it’s critical we let them know they need to translate their support into action and increase funding for lifesaving medical research. Visit our advocacy website to find and contact your Members of Congress.
To stay up-to-date on this and other advocacy issues, and to take action on the budget after the election, make sure you join our advocacy team today. Together, we can Stop Cancer Before It Starts!™