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Posted on Mon, Sep 24, 2012 : 3:50 p.m.

Funding for cancer prevention must be top priority in federal budget

By Letters to the Editor

Last week, I traveled to Washington, D.C., to represent cancer patients and survivors from Ypsilanti to call on Congress to make cancer a national priority. I joined more than 600 American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) volunteers from across the country to ask lawmakers in our nation’s capital to protect funding for cancer research and prevention programs.

I met with staff members in the offices of John Dingell (Cristina Kapustij), Debbie Stabenow (Gianelle Rivera), Carl Levin (Jacob Courville) and John Conyers, and made it clear that Congress needs to put partisanship a side on behalf of the nearly 14 million cancer survivors in the United States and more than 1.6 million people in America who will be diagnosed this year. Funding for research at the National Institutes of Healthand for cancer prevention at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and through the new Prevention and Public Health Fund must be top priorities in the federal budget. Legislation recently introduced in Congress to improve the quality of life for cancer patients must also be an important priority. Cancer is not a partisan issue, it does not care which party you support, the color of your skin, your religion. Cancer is equal opportunity and you do not get to vote on if you get it or not. We do have the opportunity to make these lifesaving programs a priority, we will ensure that progress continues in the fight against cancer. Jennifer Belaire

Volunteer, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network

Ypsilanti, Mi



Thu, Sep 27, 2012 : 2:58 p.m.

Funding for cancer research for 2012 is budgeted for approximately $5.45 Billion. Same as for 2011. Slightly less than in 2009 ($5.57 Billion). Government subsidies for producers of Ethanol (from corn) cost the U.S. government approximately $6 Billion in 2011. Here's a thought. Instead of diverting a primary food source to make fuel (and food prices higher) and paying people to do it, why don't we use that money for cancer research?


Tue, Sep 25, 2012 : 2:09 a.m.

I commend Ms. Belaire for her passion on what should be an undeniably noble cause. I am also glad that the staff members met with you and hope that they at least responded to you with a sense of compassion. However, this did occur in Washington D.C. where corruption, deals and shameless waste occurs in all parties more than we want to believe. I hope that I will be wrong, but I can see Ms. Belaire receiving future responses to her inquiries such as, "I tried."


Mon, Sep 24, 2012 : 10:32 p.m.

Ms. Belaire tried to meet with four Democrats. I always hear how Democrats care more and are for the "Working Family", it looks to me like they don't care, after all, she only met with a staff member, not the elected Representative! Maybe Ms. Belaire would have been better off to give the travel money directly to Cancer Research instead of trying to meet with her Four Democrat Representatives!


Tue, Sep 25, 2012 : 6:44 p.m.

How successful have YOU been at obtaining meetings with any representatives? Please elaborate on how a GOP representative has dropped everything they were doing to meet with you, and how it's just these democratic representatives that don't care.


Mon, Sep 24, 2012 : 9 p.m.

"Congress needs to put partisanship a side, " " Cancer is not a partisan issue, it does not care which party you support" I applaud your efforts but why did you only visit democrat offices?


Tue, Sep 25, 2012 : 6:39 p.m.

Probably because the GOP is not known for its generous research funding.


Mon, Sep 24, 2012 : 8:56 p.m.

I fine with that, but where should the money come from, or should I say who gets cut off?


Mon, Sep 24, 2012 : 9:03 p.m.

An excellent point Cinnabar. Funding of other diseases perhaps? Seems as though many areas of funding are saying "fund us," without saying "not them."