WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Jackie Speier (CA-14) yesterday joined her co-chairs on the bipartisan Childhood Cancer Caucus in applauding the House of Representative’s passage of the H.R. 3381, the Childhood Cancer STAR Act. The STAR Act addresses four major concerns facing the pediatric cancer community today: Survivorship, Treatment, Access, and Research.
All of the survivorship provisions in the STAR Act, many of which Rep. Speier has been fighting for since 2011, have been among her top priorities during her time in Congress.
“Childhood cancer is a nightmare for parents and their children. The good news is that cure rates today have increased to over 80 percent of what they were 50 years ago,” Rep. Speier said. “However, with the population of childhood cancer survivors expected to reach 500,000 by the year 2020, the need to address the care and quality of life of those survivors is more important than ever.”
The Childhood Cancer Caucus was founded seven years ago by Congressmen Michael McCaul (R-TX) and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) as a platform to advocate for children and families across the country who have been impacted by this life-altering diagnosis. Congresswoman Speier (D-CA) is a member of the Caucus and will serve as co-chair in the 115th Congress along with Congressmen McCaul, G.K. Butterfield (D-NC), and Mike Kelly (R-PA).
“The passage of the STAR Act is a critical step in the right direction in the fight against childhood cancer,” Rep. McCaul said. “It is the most comprehensive childhood cancer bill ever considered before this Congress. It would allow us to better understand the causes of pediatric cancer and the effects of treatment, provide doctors with resources necessary to help identify children who may be at risk, and improve collaboration among providers so doctors are better able to care for survivors. I am proud of our efforts to pass this bill on behalf of the children and families in Texas and across the country.”
“With Washington divided on many issues, we must find common ground whenever possible -- especially when it comes to taking care of the most vulnerable in our society. Passage of the Childhood Cancer STAR Act should serve as an example of how we can come together to make progress for the thousands of children in Maryland and across our country who are afflicted with cancer. I want to thank childhood cancer patients, survivors, and advocates for working with us to give hope to children battling this disease,” Rep. Van Hollen said.