NH women in nation’s capital to urge cancer awareness

WASHINGTON, D.C. – More than 750 cancer patients, survivors, volunteers and staffers from all 50 states and nearly every congressional district came together in Washington recently as part of the annual American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network Leadership Summit and Lobby Day.

Advocates urged Congress to take steps to make cancer a national priority and help end a disease that kills 1,600 people every day in this country.

Three New Hampshire women were among those who participated in the event. Each has a different connection to cancer and they shared their stories with lawmakers.

? Dr. Carolyn Claussen, of Bedford, is a family practitioner and breast cancer survivor.

? Amy Chapman, of Amherst, has been active in cancer advocacy since losing both of her parents to cancer.

? Nanci Carney, of Salem, lost her husband to the disease and advocates in his honor.

The trio met with Sen. Kelley Ayotte and the staff of Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, as well as Reps. Frank Guinta and Annie Kuster, to discuss the need to support an increase in federal funding for cancer research. They also asked them to co-sponsor legislation that supports patients’ quality of life and to support legislation that would close a loophole in Medicare that often results in surprise costs for seniors when a polyp is found during a routine colonoscopy.

"One in two men and one in three women will hear the words, ‘You have cancer,’ in their lifetime," Claussen said. "We need a full and unwavering commitment from Congress to take action to help prevent and treat cancer. We want our lawmakers to know that volunteers from New Hampshire and from every state across the country are counting on them to take a stand."

"As an ACS CAN volunteer," Chapman said, "I let lawmakers know that Congress can demonstrate a commitment to the fight against cancer by increasing federal funding for cancer research, co-sponsoring patient quality of life legislation and eliminating surprise costs for seniors getting colorectal cancer screenings. Making these lifesaving policies a priority will help eliminate death and suffering from cancer."

ACS CAN is the nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate organization of the American Cancer Society, which is dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem. For more information, visit www.acscan.org.