My response has been to get active, to research treatment options, to ask old friends to get in touch with him, and to help him navigate our HMO's bureaucracy. I've also been reaching out to my loved ones and letting them know how valuable they are to me ... because, as my friend says, every day is a gift.
Finally, I'm doing what he has done for years — I'm being a cancer advocate and adding my voice to those who advocate on our behalf to our legislators.
Please read this note from the Lance Armstrong Foundation, and add your voice. Then, tell your loved ones how you really feel about them and ask them to add their voices, too.
A Small Step for Cancer.
Recently, President Bush signed a bill to reauthorize the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection program, an initiative that provides free breast and cervical cancer screenings to uninsured and low-income women.
The reauthorization is a critical first step in saving lives, but it alone does not solve the problem. That’s because under current funding levels, the program covers only one in five eligible women. You read that right: Five women need the care. One will receive it.
That’s not good enough. There is a serious gap between what we know works—and what we do to fight cancer. The question is, are we willing to do what it takes to fix this problem?
You can help close this gap by signing the LIVESTRONG Army petition today and uniting to make cancer a national priority. Please take a minute to sign the petition. My name is the first on it.
We know, and the Institute of Medicine confirms, that low-income women are three times more likely to die from breast cancer. Why? This same group is less likely to get screened and more likely to be diagnosed with late-stage cancer. In other words, we could prevent these deaths. In fact, one-third of the 560,000 cancer deaths that occur in the United States each year could be prevented by applying what we already know about prevention, screening and early detection.
We know what to do. We aren’t doing it.
We must close the gap between what we know works – early detection and access to care- and what we do – which, for the past several years, has been to watch Congress and the Administration under-fund life-saving cancer programs.
Please join me as part of the LIVESTRONG Army by signing the petition and uniting in a call for change. It will only take a minute and it will make a big difference.
It is time for Americans to demand that our nation’s leaders make fighting cancer a national priority. Literally hundreds of thousands of lives depend on it.