Letter to the Editor

Make cancer priority

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Dear Editor,

Cancer strikes one out of two men and one out of three women, killing 1,500 people every day. Each cancer death, on average, steals 15 years of life. Yet today, people are increasingly surviving with cancer rather than dying from it, this is a testament to our nation's investment in research, prevention, early detection and care.

Earlier this month hundreds of people from the area came together in Norris Park for the 2007 Relay For Life of Southwest Nebraska to honor survivors, shed some tears, share in lots of laughter and along the way raised right at 47,000 dollars which will go to helping find a cure and better treatments for cancer.

Yet the work is not done, next month close to 10,000 people will converge on the National Mall in Washington DC for Celebration on the Hill 2006, asking Congress to make cancer a national priority.

If cancer has impacted your life in someway I encourage you to contact Sen. Nelson, Sen. Hagel and Congressman Osborne and ask that they do their part to make issues related to cancer a priority. I would like to see Sen. Hagel and Sen. Nelson take a leadership role and sign "The Congressional Cancer Promise" now and encourage your colleagues to do so as well.

I would ask Congressman Osborne to sign this promise as well, it would be one more great thing to give your not only your constituents in the 3rd District, but would greatly benefit many more "Nebraskans" whether they reside within the border or not.

I also ask Senator Nelson, Senator Hagel and Congressman Osborne to ensure that all eligible women have access to the CDC's National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program by increasing funding and reauthorizing this program which is set to expire at the end of this year.

Cancer doesn't care if you are a Republican or a Democrat, it doesn't care what age you are or what sex you are. Cancer can strike anyone of us; let's not wait any longer to make cancer a national priority.

Shane Smith

Celebration on the Hill 2006 Ambassador


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