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Cancer funding decision delayed. Time to take action, advocates!

Earlier this month, the House Labor, Health and Human Services (HHS), and Education Appropriations Subcommittee announced that it has postponed consideration of its fiscal year (FY) 2012 spending bill until September.

Delayed consideration of this bill, which funds the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), gives colorectal cancer advocates more time to contact their House and Senate lawmakers when they return home in August.

The message: Funding for colorectal cancer research and prevention must be a priority.

In August, consider participating in town hall meetings with lawmakers. Or, take the time to find out if your lawmakers will be at a county fair or local parade and stop by to say hello and share your story and our message.

Many representatives and senators post their town hall meeting schedules on their websites (like Rep. Chris Gibson of upstate New York, pictured at left). You can find your Members’ of Congress websites at www.house.gov and www.senate.gov.

We need to help lawmakers understand that even in these times of fiscal austerity, there are significant human and economic consequences to cutting medical research and prevention funding.

Even President Obama in his recent address to the nation said that while the government must live within its means, there are still things that we need to pay for in this country, including medical research.

Some lawmakers may tell you that the government can’t afford to increase, or even sustain, current funding for medical research. Lawmakers must be reminded they have a choice when it comes to funding priorities. Advocates need to ask lawmakers to protect colorectal cancer research and prevention funding. If we do not, no one else will.

Recently, Fight Colorectal Cancer held a free patient webinar on how to make a difference in the fight for cancer research funding. A recording of the webinar is available on our website. Take a few minutes to learn what you can do to take effective action.

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