Washington, D.C. – Last week, Representatives Jackie Speier (D-CA), Michael McCaul (R-TX), G.K. Butterfield (D-NC) and Mike Kelly (R-PA) hosted the 13th Annual Childhood Cancer Summit where they gathered with advocates, docors, and survivors to raise awareness for the pediatric cancer community. Additionally, the incoming co-chairs for the Childhood Cancer Caucus, Representatives Kathy Castor (D-FL) and Ami Bera (D-CA) attended the summit.
“The Childhood Cancer Summit and the Childhood Cancer Caucus are proof that Congress still works when we work together. We’ve raised awareness and made critical investments in fighting childhood cancer. We passed the Childhood Cancer STAR Act in 2018, a bipartisan bill that has provided hundreds of millions of dollars to collect data, fund evidence-based research, and improve childhood cancer survivorship. Included in the legislation was my bill, the Childhood Cancer Survivors Quality of Life Act, which expands the role of the National Cancer Institute, which has awarded over $16 million in grants to researchers to conduct 13 major studies improving childhood cancer patient care. In Fiscal Year 2022 alone, the NCI invested $80 million into childhood cancer research, including $30 million in STAR Act programs,” Rep. Speier said. “This caucus has achieved remarkable progress – thanks to increased research cancer mortality has been slashed in half and the NCI’s research budget for children with cancer doubled from 4 to 8 percent – but there’s more work to do. I urge my colleagues to swiftly advance the Clinical Trial Coverage Act, which Co-Chair Michael McCaul and I have introduced. Our bill makes it more affordable for children to enroll in clinical trials and access the latest treatments available, while helping to develop the therapies of tomorrow. I’m immensely proud of all that this caucus has achieved, and I look forward to the continuation of this life-saving work with our next generation of bipartisan members.”
“It was an inspiring and emotional week on Capitol Hill as we gathered with advocates, survivors, and health care professionals to raise awareness for childhood cancer,” Rep. McCaul said. “Each year, it is an honor to host the passionate childhood cancer community for the summit and show how Congress is working to help them in their fight. When this caucus first began, there were only two treatments for pediatric cancer. Now, there are over 20, and funding for research for children with cancer has steadily increased during that time. I am proud to be a voice for children battling this disease, and I won’t stop until we’ve beaten cancer.”
“We have made great strides, yet the fight against childhood cancer is far from over,” Rep Butterfield said. “During my time in Congress as a co-chair of the Childhood Cancer Caucus, I have been deeply inspired by the families who have led this fight against childhood cancer, particularly the children. Sometimes, the smallest voices can make the biggest difference. Our brave patients and their families are the driving force behind our efforts here in Congress, and as I head towards the end of my time as a Member of Congress, I want to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of the inspiring women and men that I’ve met along the way who are dedicated to this noble fight. It was an absolute pleasure to serve as co-chair of the caucus and to join everyone for the 13th Childhood Cancer Summit.”
“The main goal each year of the Childhood Cancer Caucus is to raise awareness for the most vulnerable among us,” Rep. Kelly said. “I believe we accomplished our goal once again. The Summit highlighted the great progress we have made, but also how there is more work we can do in Congress to help children battling these life-threatening illnesses. I am committed to working with my colleagues on the Caucus and here in Congress to provide additional funding so we can end childhood cancer.”
“It was an honor to join such a passionate group of advocates at the Childhood Cancer Summit to discuss our work in Congress to fund research and treatments in the fight to eradicate childhood cancer,” Rep. Castor said. “I am grateful to be joining my bipartisan colleagues in the 118th Congress as a co-chair of the Childhood Cancer Caucus to continue pushing for policies that support the health and well-being of kids with cancer, their families, and the institutions and medical professionals that serve them.”
“It was inspiring to join my fellow colleagues, doctors, and the pediatric cancer community for the 13th Annual Childhood Cancer Summit,” Rep. Bera said. “The Summit was an opportunity to reflect on the important advancements in pediatric cancer care and to renew our shared commitment to defeating childhood cancer. As a physician, I am excited to be joining the Childhood Cancer Caucus to pursue bipartisan policies that support treatments and cures for childhood cancers.”
Since its inception, the Childhood Cancer Caucus has had four landmark pieces of legislation signed into law: the Creating Hope Act, the Race for Children Act, the Childhood Cancer STAR Act, and the Global Hope Act. Most recently, the Give Kids a Chance Act passed the House and awaits consideration in the Senate. Additionally, Congressman McCaul introduced the Childhood Cancer STAR Reauthorization Act earlier this year along with the co-chairs of the Caucus.
In addition to co-chairs of the Caucus, speakers included incoming co-chairs Congressman Ami Bera and Congresswoman Kathy Castor, childhood cancer survivor Sadie Keller, White House Cancer Moonshot Coordinator Dr. Danielle Carnival, Director of the Office of Cancer Survivorship at the National Cancer Institute Dr. Emily Tonorezos, and President and Co-Founder of The EVAN Foundation Gavin Lindberg.