Washington, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-CA), Chairman Michael McCaul (R-TX), co-founder of the Childhood Cancer Caucus, Senator Jack Reed (D-RI), Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Congressman G. K. Butterfield (D-NC), Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Congressman Mike Kelly (R-PA), and Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA) re-introduced the Childhood Cancer STAR (Survivorship, Treatment, Access, and Research) Act, HR 820, in the 115th Congress.
The STAR Act would improve efforts to identify and track childhood cancer incidences, improve the quality of life for childhood cancer survivors, and identify opportunities to expand the research of therapeutics necessary to treat the approx. 15,700 children diagnosed with cancer in the U.S. every year.
Congresswoman Speier: “Childhood cancer is a nightmare for children and their families. And for many of these children, the fight does not end with remission,” Rep. Speier said. “That is why I’m proud to reintroduce the STAR Act and fight for its immediate passage in order to address the care and quality of life of the population of childhood cancer survivors, which is expected to reach 500,000 by the year 2020. The joyful news of remission should never be ruined by the serious threat of financial and emotional turmoil due to the on-going medical needs of these incredibly brave survivors.”
Chairman McCaul: “I co-founded the Childhood Cancer Caucus because we need to do more in the fight against the number one killer of our children. When I was in elementary school, my friend lost his battle to this illness, and this tragedy continues to be a far too frequent occurrence for children across the nation. That is why we need to move legislation like the STAR Act through Congress this year, and prevent the worst outcomes from becoming a reality.”
Senator Reed: “With far too many children’s lives tragically cut short by cancer, it’s critical that we do all we can to help the brave young people who are fighting these battles. The Childhood Cancer STAR Act will bring needed assistance to children with cancer and their families by expanding opportunities for research on childhood cancer and providing new strategies to help survivors overcome late health effects, such as secondary cancers. It is my hope that these efforts will lead to life-saving treatments for children and bring us closer to our ultimate goal of ending pediatric cancer once and for all.”
Senator Capito: “We must continue making advancements that can help save the lives of those battling childhood cancers. The Childhood Cancer STAR Act will contribute to new developments in research and treatment, and has the potential to positively impact tens of thousands of lives. I’m proud to reintroduce this very important legislation for patients and families in West Virginia and across the country.”
Congressman Butterfield: “Childhood cancer remains the leading cause of death in American children and we need to take action. The Childhood Cancer STAR Act aims to give young cancer patients and their families better access to life-saving treatments and the support they need even after beating cancer. I thank my colleagues for their continued partnership on this measure. No parent should have to lose a child to cancer. This Act moves us one step closer to seeing that it does not happen.”
Senator Van Hollen: “There are unique barriers to studying childhood cancer that are slowing and preventing the next big breakthrough in treatment. We need a strategy to give every child with cancer the hope of a long and healthy life, and the STAR Act is a bipartisan approach to delivering that hope. By taking action to better study this disease and improve the quality of life for survivors, this bill will ultimately save lives and get us closer to the day that no child has to face the diagnosis of cancer.”
Congressman Kelly: “No parent should ever have to hear the words, ‘Your child has cancer.’ I am so grateful to my colleagues on both sides of the aisle for coming together to introduce this crucial legislation to help make that dream a reality. The STAR Act will be a powerful tool in the fight to eradicate childhood cancer forever, and an ally to the survivors who have bravely fought and beat this horrible disease.”
Senator Isakson: "It is extremely important that we increase research and treatment of the devastating effects of childhood cancer. This critical legislation is a positive step forward to help find the right cures for our youngest patients.”
The STAR Act passed the U.S. House in the 114th Congress.