A Letter to the Editor in the Aug. 8, 2006, Tomahawk Leader:
To the Editor:
On Sept. 19 and 20 this year I will be joining about 10,000 cancer survivors and community ambassadors in Washington, D.C., to ask Congress to continue federal funding for cancer research. This event is being hosted by The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN).
I have been involved with the American Cancer Society for nearly 10 years, starting the Merrill Relay for Life with my wife, Linda, and many other community members, some of them cancer survivors. I also got involved politically going to the state capitol and Washington, D.C., to represent cancer survivors and those who may be hearing the words “You have cancer.”
My involvement got personal. I have lost many friends, relatives, Linda’s parents, my grandfather, father and most recently, my mother, to cancer. We also have met many people with cancer through the Relay for Life. Through their suffering and untimely deaths due to cancer, they have shown me courage, strength and wisdom, which has inspired me to go out and do whatever it takes to eliminate the suffering and death due to cancer. I do this for them!
Through the funding of cancer research by the federal government and organizations such as the American Cancer Society, as well as the generous donations from the public, we have actually been able to set a goal to eliminate suffering and death due to cancer by the year 2015. The problem we face is, there is a lot of demand for federal money and we have to keep asking year after year to continue the funding. Our goal in September is to ask Congress to make funding for cancer research a top priority until 2015. It is very likely that everyone reading this letter knows someone that has cancer.
At Relay for Life events around the country and in Washington, D.C., we will celebrate survivorship. The funding for past research is paying off. We are seeing more and more people surviving cancer and our focus is to eliminate death from cancer. In September, I will be taking a very important message to Washington, D.C., and I ask for your support. Please come to the Merrill Relay for Life at the Lincoln County Fairgrounds on Aug. 11 and 12 to sign a banner which will be displayed on the Mall in Washington, D.C., to show Congress that cancer research is a priority. You also can visit my web site www.acscan.org/advocate/sdoerr
to sign a petition for Cong. Obey and Sens. Feingold and Kohl and tell them to make funding for cancer research a priority. You can also join the ACSCAN network and be notified of cancer-related legislation on a local, state and national level through the same web site.
If you would like to have a luminary placed around the Capitol Reflecting Pool in Washington, D.C., in memory of a loved one or in honor of someone you know who is fighting cancer, the cost is $10 each. Go to: www.celebrationonthehill.org/luminaria.asp