Yes, we CAN

October 8, 2012 

I recently attended the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (CAN) national lobby day in Washington D.C. This year's message to elected officials was somewhat different. Yes, we asked for continued money for research and protect funding for cancer screening/prevention programs. We "asked" they support legislation for Quality of Life for cancer patients including access to Palliative Care Services and coordinated care.

Cancer and heart disease number 1 and 2 in health issues faced by citizens. Even though deaths are down, it's too high. This should be a national priority, Congress needs to support these programs.

One speaker this year was swimmer, Eric Shanteau. Eric an Olympic Gold Medal winner from this summer's Games in London and a cancer survivor! He received his cancer diagnose eight days prior his Olympic trials in 2008. Thanks to his "palliative care plan" coordinated with his medical team, family, coaches and himself, he made that team. Sadly he didn't medal. Fast-forward four years, he's again part of the team and they win at Worlds where he broke the World Record for the 4x100 medley. On to London: the Olympics where he won his gold medal.

Who doesn't believe medical research and good medical care isn't wonderful?

DARLENE VARLEY

Benton City

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