Rejoicing Through The Tears
by Brenda George
American Cancer Society News

Pittsburg Voice of Hope Reunion

I traveled to Pittsburgh last February to meet up with my fellow Voices of Hope. It was a great day. After many laughs, tears, and hugs and a delicious lunch, we all left, recharged and ready to make a difference in the lives of so many facing a cancer diagnosis of their own.

Day at the Capitol

I went downtown in Columbus, Ohio, in May for Lobby Day. It was a great oportunity fo speak with lawmakers about some very important issues. Our voices were heard. It was such an honor to speak up for all those who have no voice. One of these days, WE ARE GOING TO PUT AN END TO CANCER ONCE AND FOR ALL!! We are convincing lawmakers that fighting cancer should be a top priority. Our legislative priorities are:

  • Sustaining funding for lifesaving research
  • Imroving access to quality health care
  • Implementing tobacco control policies
  • Expanding programs for prevention, early detection and survivorship of cancer

Access to health care was one of our focal talking points. It plays an important role in whether or not an individual diagnosed with cancer will survive as well as their quality of life during treatment. We are talking to lawmakers about important legislation that will reduce barriers to cancer patients being able to access their medication and to receive treatment without delay. All cancer patients shoud be able to obtain their medically necessary prescriptions and treatments at an affordable price.

Reducing the toll of tobacco was another important topic brought up to lawmakers. The use of tobacco products remains the nation's number one cause of preventable death. Tobacco use is responsible for nearly 1 in 5 deaths nationwide including at least 30% of all cancer deaths. There is no safe level or safe type of tobacco use.

Palliative care was another important topic that we addressed with lawmakers. Palliative care is specialized medical care that improves quality of life for patients and families by focusing on relief from pain, stress, and other symptoms of treatment for a serious disease such as cancer. It is delivered by trained specialists who work together with doctors and nurses in a team-based approach that focuses on the patient's needs. Palliative care treats the person and not just the disease.

Donna Detwiler

        Pictured Above: ACS lobbyists with Ohio Senator Dave Burke's assistant standing to my right.

What a wonderful weekend we had last year at our Voices Of Hope Orientation in Pittsburgh! I met so many wonderful new friends! What a blessing!

Kizoa slideshow: 2013 Voices Of Hope Orientation - Slideshow

Myself and Ashley (L-R)

Myself and Ashley (L-R) again

I am Hope!

Lobby Day

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