Okay, I am very new at this but do want to attempt to make a difference in legislation addressing funding for cancer research. I found this WONDERFUL link on the American Association for Cancer Research’s web site:

Find Your Legislators

You plug in your zip code and this page will list your state and local representatives (and the President). It will even walk you through easily emailing these representatives. You just need to input your own information and email message. They will add the salutations, put the email in business letter format, address and send the emails to your legislators. Can’t get easier than that!

I encourage all of you to do this. It’s easy, especially through the AACR link, and it can only help our goal of seeing cancer defeated. I talked to a woman recently who runs a marketing business. She said mail flyers are thrown away the first time and usually the second time they are delivered as junk mail, but by the third time the flyer is delivered, it is finally read. Maybe emailing politicians is kind of the same, they can disregard the first and maybe even the second email as not representative of the majority, but when they get a whole lot of them they finally really pay attention.

Via the AACR link I sent them all the email in italics below. Maybe you can do the same with your own story? My cancer experience has taught me not to do things that waste my time, and I truly believe this is not a waste of time, that it is something we can do to make a real difference. Something that may one day mean my web site and blog will become obsolite. I would love to see that day, a day when no part of my life is devoted to cancer causes because there are none.

I am a registered nurse and seven year survivor of a terminal cancer diagnosis. I was diagnosed with Stage IV signet ring appendiceal cancer when I was 41. My children were 10 and 11 years old at the time. This year I will see my eldest graduate from high school, being alive to see her graduate is a gift beyond words.

I have made the decision to use my survival to advocate for those diagnosed with cancer. To that end, I created a web site specific to my cancer over 2 years ago, www.appendix-cancer.com and also created the Appendix Cancer Survivor’s Blog.

I am also involved with the American Cancer Society as a member of the Colorectal Cancer Awareness Network and have recently founded a non-profit cancer support organization for those diagnosed with advanced abdominal cancers, the Abdominal Cancer Connection. My organization is in its infancy and was just granted 501c3 status by the Federal government.

I have most recently become involved in the American Association for Cancer Research’s Scientist Survivor Program and attended their annual meeting in San Diego last month. I became aware of innovative ideas for cancer research that cannot be pursued due to lack of funding.

Through my advocacy activities, I have become aware of the great need for funding for cancer research. Cancer affects all of us. Cancer kills 1500 daily in the US. We lost 3000 in one day in the Twin Towers, but we lose 3000 EVERY 2 days to cancer. Over half a million in the US die of cancer annually. The NCI budget is 4.8 billion dollars, but we’ve spent over 500 billion dollars on the war in Iraq. Cancer researchers who are unable to receive funding for their studies are leaving the field, or worse yet, leaving the country to do their research where their work can receive funding.

On behalf of myself and the many people fighting cancer that I communicate with daily, I ask that you please consider supporting or authoring legislation to increase funding for cancer research in the United States.


Carolyn Langlie-Lesnik RN BSN