Your Presence Matters at ConC 2022


Advocacy Blog
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Call-on Congress (ConC) is Fight Colorectal Cancer’s (Fight CRC) signature advocacy event, and it developed from Fight CRC Founder Nancy Roach’s vision and deeply held belief that advocacy has to be at the heart of what we do at Fight CRC, and that patients need to be at the table where policy decisions are being made.

Call-on Congress is a two-day event this year on March 16-17, 2022, and you still have time to register. We realize the need to be fluid, and shift and adjust as needed, and we intentionally planned our outdoor installation, United in Blue, the first-ever flag installation on the National Mall to spotlight colorectal cancer as a national priority and raise awareness that we need to fight for more.

As part of our installation, we will have a large display screen with the names and faces of relentless champions of hope. It will be up all week as part of the installation. You can honor a loved one by filling out this form.

The installation, designed to spotlight colorectal cancer as a national priority, is also a visual representation of the more than 27,400 people under age 50 estimated to be diagnosed with colorectal cancer in 2030, highlighting the need for us to fight for more: more urgency, more equity, more funding.

The pandemic is unpredictable. We are unable to meet with members of Congress in person this year. The good news is that member’s offices are still meeting virtually, so you can connect with them to share your story and educate them about our colorectal cancer policy priorities.

Who Is Welcome?

Everyone is welcome! Patients, survivors, caregivers, family, friends, researchers, and healthcare teams are all welcome.

Don’t let nerves deter you. No one fights alone. Nowhere is this more evident than at Call-on Congress. While it is normal to be nervous when meeting new people, you will feel at home within the first few hours. Plus, you will be given a Call-on Congress mentor – a fellow advocate who has attended Call-on Congress before and can show you the ropes. It’s also a great way to get connected to others in the community and make new friends!

You will encounter and bond with your Fight CRC “family” that you never knew you had or needed, but that you are so happy that you found, and that you will never want to let go. You will make connections and find support for years to come.

We have had Call-on Congress advocates say, “You saved my life.” People need connection, communication, and support now more than ever. Call-on Congress provides all of these.

So, What’s Holding You Back?

Don’t be too intimidated to attend. Call-on Congress is not about being an expert in policy. It’s not about reading legislation or being political. Call-on Congress is about sharing your story. No one is an expert in your story or can share your story better than you can. We need you. Your stories are unique and powerful! No one can tell your story the way you can.

We need you because strength comes in numbers. If patients, caregivers, and everyone impacted by colorectal cancer don’t fight for more and tell Congress how colorectal cancer has changed your life, no one else is going to do it.

“To be able to attend Call-on Congress is a huge honor for me. As a colorectal cancer patient, there were times when I was lost and had no hope for me or other cancer patients. As I've gotten more involved, I've seen the opportunity to use my journey to help bring change and better results. Call-on Congress is the best place to start the road for change and on our way to a cure.”

- JJ Singleton, stage IV colorectal cancer survivor, Waynesville, N.C.

The Future Is Now

Did you ever plan to do something “later. When I get to it.” Tomorrow is not guaranteed to anyone. When you or someone you love is diagnosed with colorectal cancer, you realize how precious time is. Call-on Congress will be meaningful for you. You will create the meaning by putting your face with a name for your representatives and telling them a story that happens in their district among their constituents. 

Colorectal cancer is no longer a disease of just older people. While diagnosis rates among those over 50 are declining since more people in their age group are being screened, more and more younger people are being diagnosed with late-stage colorectal cancer. In just eight years, colorectal cancer is estimated to become the leading cause of cancer-related deaths for people under age 50. There are not many effective treatment options available to them. 

Congress needs to prioritize colorectal cancer right now. Colorectal cancer research is underfunded. If we don’t fight for more funding, no one else will fight for us. Our scientific community and patient community need you to fight alongside us. 

But we have hope. As a community and an organization, we have developed our Path to a Cure Report with actionable strategies and objectives to help plan and guide us. We plan to leverage this report with public and elected officials.

You can help change their perspectives, and you can help make an impact: All because you are the human face behind colorectal cancer.

Regular People Can Have an Impact

At Call-on Congress we are asking our elected officials to do more to prioritize colorectal cancer – to put together a plan to harness the most promising advancements and address the growing number of young people being diagnosed with this disease. 

“Your member of Congress puts their pants on one leg at a time, just like the rest of us. Don’t be intimidated. We give you the tools. We prepare you,” said Molly McDonnell, Director of Advocacy, Fight CRC. “We will have an opportunity to show you what a meeting will look like; who you will see; who you will speak with.” 

Addressing COVID-19 Concerns

While we’re aware that some people may have concerns or fears regarding COVID-19, we will be taking precautions.

  1. Masking is back in Washington, D.C., and proof of vaccination is required for indoor events. 
  2. We will monitor how the situation unfolds over the next few months.
  3. We will make decisions for the health and safety of advocates and staff.
  4. Call-on Congress is anchored around the Installation on the National Mall, which is outside, so you can still participate outdoors.

COVID-19 Considerations

Fight CRC acknowledges the importance of community-wide vaccination regarding our ability to create a safe environment for all our attendees. We strongly encourage vaccinations and boosters.

What Are You Waiting for?

Register today! 

Here are five things you can do for/at Call-on Congress:

  1. Gather up your warm clothes.
  2. Tell your tribe!
  3. Come out to amplify your voice and story.
  4. Fight for more: more urgency, more equity, more funding. 
  5. Celebrate each other!

We can’t wait to see you there!