Tuesday Recap | 2013 Call-on Congress

fight-crc-advocate-trainingI’ve never served in the military but I can only imagine what soldiers go through the night before they leave for deployment or battle.

Years of training and preparation lead up to the big day. It’s the military-version of starring on Broadway. It must feel similar to tonight – the hours before we hit the Hill during the Call-on Congress.

The fight against colorectal cancer feels like war sometimes. Battle after battle (or doctor’s visits, scans, surgeries and procedures) create a war on many fronts… whether you’re the patient in the hospital bed or the loved one holding their hand.

But after a day like today’s Call-on Congress, those of us in the fight feel like soldiers.

We’re prepped and ready to take action when it comes to legislation. We understand after today that Capitol Hill needs to get involved if we are going to win this war.

And tomorrow, it’s time to show them why.

Recognizing the research at stake

Yesterday we heard an overview of the importance of research. We received encouragement to channel our passion into advocacy. (Read the Monday recap.)

Today, we got into the nitty-gritty.

Clinical trials offer hope

2013-call-on-congress-speakersDr. Johanna Bendell (Director of Gastrointestinal Oncology Research at the Sarah Cannon Research Institute) delivered a presentation that:

  • Explained the advancements in clinical trials and potential treatments on the horizon.
  • Emphasized the importance of clinical trials.
  • Offered explanations to big concepts in the colorectal cancer world in terms of biomarkers, pathway signaling, inhibitors, gene expressions and more.

Ultimately, she offered passionate insight into colorectal cancer research and treatment options. She injected hope that life-saving therapies sit on the horizon as research continues to receive funding and evolve.

Check out all of the slides to Dr. Bendell’s presentation

Survivorship studies involve millions

group-of-survivors-colon-cancerAndrea Dwyer (Project Director for the Colorado Cancer Prevention and Control Research Network) followed Dr. Bendell with insights into survivorship research. She showed the crowd:

  • A population created by 1 million colorectal cancer survivors and the near 13 million cancer survivors.
  • Efforts of researchers studying the transition from active treatment to survivorship.
  • Benefits of a cancer registry.
  • The impact of budget cuts on survivor research.

Andi encouraged a crowd of survivors and families that resources from survivorship studies will become available with ongoing survivor research.

Check out Andi’s presentation slides.

An Afternoon of Advocacy

fight-crc-folders-statesSurvivors swimming in the details after a morning of powerful presentations knew the clear message of our efforts:  We NEED research in order to find a cure for colorectal cancer. We NEED federal funding.

Fired up with facts (and a good dose of hope), we learned how to best deliver this information to Congress for the remainder of the afternoon.

Advocates sat through discussions, presentations and break-out sessions that discussed topics like:

  • The Research Process
  • The Legislative Process
  • Importance of Engaging in Networks
  • In-depth review of 2013 Legislative Priorities
  • How to Prepare for the Hill
  • How to tell our Stories and Prepare for Pushback
  • How Congress Really Works

training-advocates-fight-crcThanks again to all of the speakers who participated:

  • Nancy Roach (Chair & Founder of Fight Colorectal Cancer)
  • Andi Dwyer (Project Director for the Colorado Cancer Prevention and Control Research Network)
  • Dan Dixon, PhD (Associate Professor at the University of Kansas Cancer Center)
  • Mary Doroshenk (Director of National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable)
  • Camille Bonta (Fight Colorectal Cancer Policy Expert)
  • Carlea Bauman (President of Fight Colorectal Cancer)
  • Anjee Davis (VP of Programs for Fight Colorectal Cancer)
  • Michael Sola (VP of Operations for Fight Colorectal Cancer)
  • Devin James (CEO of Devin James Group)
  • Christoper Kush (President of Soapbox Consulting)
  • Martin B. Gold, MPA, JD

We’re Ready for the Hill

fight-colorectal-cancer-cupcakesA packed agenda of research and policy meetings made for a long day.

But we did get cupcakes in the middle of the afternoon. How sweet.

Tonight, we soak in the policies. Rehearse our stories. Recite the “asks.” Take deep breaths.

Because tomorrow… it’s showtime.

We’re ready to ask for change when it comes to fighting colorectal cancer and federal funds.

We’re here to demand a cure.

Connect With Fight Colorectal Cancer

Want to see more from Day Two – 2013 Call-on Congress?

Read our Twitter and check out Facebook.

Look for hashtag #ConC2013 or tags from @FightCRC

Share your story on the One Million Strong blog and take the One Million Strong pledge.


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