Several staff members from the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition recently attended the National Breast Cancer Coalition (NBCC) Advocacy Summit in Washington, DC. It was a wonderful summit where staff members were updated on the latest efforts to achieve Deadline 2020: to know how to end breast cancer by January 1, 2020 and advocate to leverage government to help us achieve our goals. NBCC President, Fran Visco, shared so many stories with us of the triumph and tribulations the organization has faced over the last 25 years. We were inspired to live up to our goals so we can stop losing the ones we love to this horrible disease. #NBCCSummit
There were updates from panels of experts in science, research, women’s health, and more on the Artemis Project – the search for a preventative breast cancer vaccine, prevention, metastasis, the political climate of breast cancer, and advocacy training. All of this learning prepared us to march to Capitol Hill to meet with our legislators and effect change in our communities. #NBCConthehill
Our voices were heard as we met with staff members from all our legislative offices. In Congressman Carney’s office we met with staff aid, Gita Miller, who assured us of Congressman Carney’s continued support for the fight against breast cancer. He has already signed on as a Co-Sponsor for H.R. 1197 – the bill which will help us Accelerate the End of Breast Cancer. We urged the Congressman to help put pressure on the leadership in the U.S. House of Representatives to bring the bill to a suspension vote. We hope we can count on Congressman Carney to reach out to Representative Hoyer and Representative McCarthy to bring the bill to a suspension vote, where it will undoubtedly pass! Our Congressman will continue to make cancer a priority in his office.
Quick detour as we stopped at the Supreme Court for a photo-op. #wheninDC
Next, we proceeded to the Senate side where we met with Senator Coons’ aid Kelsey Mellette to discuss the Senators unrelenting support for the efforts of the National Breast Cancer Coalition. Not only is Senator Coons a cosponsor for S. 746 – Accelerating the End of Breast Cancer Act, but he has signed onto the FY17 letter to the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee in support of funding for the DOD peer-reviewed Breast Cancer Research Program (BCRP). This program has been so successful in producing innovative and unique, effective research which is both accountable to the public and transparent, and has produced extraordinary results. It has led to revolutionary work including the breast cancer drug, Herceptin. We are grateful to have Senator Coons support in Washington!
Lastly, we met with Senator Carper’s aid Lynn Sha to discuss Carper’s support. Senator Carper has signed on as a cosponsor for S. 746 – Accelerating the End of Breast Cancer Act and we hope we can count on his support of the DOD BCRP in the future.
The conference was intense but we found some time for fun. Meeting the faculty for a quick chat about his ongoing research and a photo.
And when it came time for the Breast Cancer Caucus “Convention”, we showed our Delaware pride BIG time! Check out our team pictured with Abe from the Washington Nationals and our University of Delaware Pride!
Overall, we learned a lot and had a great time. We will continue to fight to achieve the deadline and stop ending deaths due to breast cancer. If you would like to learn more about the National Breast Cancer Coalition and becoming an advocate, please contact Beth at firstname.lastname@example.org.