For the twelfth straight year, advocates of Fight Colorectal Cancer will travel to Capitol Hill to ask lawmakers for their support in the prevention, detection and treatment of colorectal cancer. This year, 150 advocates will travel in from all across the U.S. and Puerto Rico to share their personal stories of surviving the disease or advocating in memory of a loved one. Each year 150,000 people are diagnosed with the nation’s second-leading cancer killer among men and women combined.
Fight Colorectal Cancer President Anjee Davis states:
“Call-on Congress is about empowering and mobilizing our community of fighters. We have a tenacious group, who come to D.C. to remind their members of Congress they need their support to remove barriers to screening and fund medical research and screening programs. They come to D.C. to tell their stories. For many, this is a very important part of their healing process.”
Survivors, caregivers and family members are provided a robust education program preparing them for face-to-face meetings with their lawmakers, asking for the support for the following legislative priorities:
- H.R. 1017/S.479, the Removing Barriers to Colorectal Screening Act
- Increased funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and National Cancer Institute (NCI)
- Increased funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Colorectal Cancer Control Program (CRCCP)
Colorectal cancer does not discriminate, and supporting our efforts is our Fight Colorectal Cancer Congressional Committee. The committee is a bipartisan, bicameral group of members who have been personally impacted and are willing to rally fellow representatives to recognize March as Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month.
Members of the committee include: Rep. Donald Payne (D-NJ), Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA), Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN), Rep. Leonard Lance (R-NJ), Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD), Rep. Phil Roe (R-TN), Rep. Rodney Davis (R-IL).
One stage IV survivor and Fight CRC research advocate Elaine Newcomb inspired her senator, Sen. Mike Enzi of Wyoming, to introduce a resolution supporting the designation of March 2018 as National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. The House also issued a proclamation on March 1.
State governments have responded to Fight CRC’s Blue Star States campaign where advocates around the country have asked their governors to issue proclamations recognizing March 2018 as Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. So far, 44 states have issued proclamations.
“I feel it is very important for the state to recognize March as Colorectal Cancer Month because colorectal cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer death among men and women,” said Merrill Ann Culverhouse, an advocate who helped secure Alabama’s state proclamation. “One in 20 people will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer, 23 million people have not been screened and 60 percent of colorectal cancer deaths could be prevented with screenings. There is an increase of younger people being diagnosed. My dad was 43 when he was diagnosed and a classmate of mine passed away from colorectal cancer at the age of 16. It is so important to raise awareness of colorectal cancer, having my state declare March as Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month is a great way to do this.”
As a part of a three-day program, on March 20, Fight CRC will host a Hill Briefing in partnership with ACS CAN, the American College of Gastroenterology, and the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable (NCCRT) highlighting the road ahead to get our nation to 80% screened. The event will be live streamed on the Fight CRC Facebook page at Facebook.com/FightCRC at 8:30am ET.
Sponsors of the 12th annual Call-on Congress include Bayer Healthcare, Bristol Myers-Squibb, Epi ProColon, Genentech, Genomic Health, Quicken Loans, Merck, No-Shave November, Turtle Beach and 3D communications.
For more information on the event or details about how to watch live streams visit CallonCongress.org.
About Call-on Congress
Call-on Congress is Fight Colorectal Cancer’s cornerstone advocacy event that occurs every March in the Washington, D.C. area. The first two days of the event are full of panels and presentations by experts in research and policy issues affecting colorectal cancer. Advocates are also taught how to share their personal stories while connecting with others. On the third day, “Hill Day,” advocates meet in congressional offices to share their personal stories and make legislative asks. In 2017, attendees will be asking for support of bills that reduce barriers to Medicare screening and support funding for screening/prevention programs through the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and research funding through the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and Department of Defense (DoD).
About Fight Colorectal Cancer
Fight Colorectal Cancer (Fight CRC) is a trusted national nonprofit advocacy organization fighting for a cure. It was founded in 2005 by Nancy Roach, a patient advocate who witnessed the need for colorectal cancer advocacy after her mother-in-law’s diagnosis. The organization plays an important role in rallying colorectal cancer advocates to action. Fight CRC is known for activism and patient empowerment throughout patient, academic, political, scientific, medical and nonprofit communities. With a mission focused on advocacy, research, patient education and awareness, the organization serves advocates in every state of the U.S. and many others around the world. Fight CRC is rated Platinum by nonprofit monitoring group GuideStar and is a 4-star charity by Charity Navigator. To learn more, visit FightCRC.org