Thursday, September 21, 2006

Berry and Arkansans Join the Fight Against Cancer on Capitol Hill

This week I joined dozens of Arkansas cancer survivors and advocates in Washington, DC to celebrate the American Cancer Society’s Celebration on the Hill 2006. We joined over 10,000 cancer advocates from all across the country to rally for policies that will help in the fight against cancer.

This event gives Arkansans the opportunity to come to Washington and encourage Congress to make cancer funding a priority. find it reassuring to see so many people from Arkansas and across the country here in our nation’s capitol, supporting cancer victims and survivors, and demanding solutions in the battle against this terrible disease.

Several constituents from Arkansas’ First Congressional District attended the week-long event including Raven Lawson of Jonesboro, Chancellor Ed Coulter of Arkansas State University - Mountain Home, and Carrie Kinkel of Batesville. The group helped unveil the American Cancer Society Relay for Life Wall of Hope which consists of 5,000 banners signed by participants at Relay for Life events all over the country during the spring and summer of 2006. The Wall of Hope covers three city blocks and is the largest temporary monument ever to stand on the National Mall.

The 10,000 cancer advocates encouraged Congress to increase funding for the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and to support a minimum 5% increase for the National Cancer Institute. As an ardent supporter of cancer research, Congressman Berry signed a promise at the event to make cancer prevention and early detection a top priority by investing more in research and expanding access to care.

As elected leaders, we have a responsibility to provide Americans with the best health care available. Increased funding for cancer research and prevention programs will not only save lives but improve the quality of health care in this country.