Campaign pins for PanCAN’s virtual Advocacy Week to increase pancreatic cancer research funding

Today, Tuesday, June 16, 2020, is the day we all call Congress – the day when we make our collective voices heard about the urgent need for increased federal research funding for pancreatic cancer.

Call Congress Day is part of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network’s (PanCAN) virtual Advocacy Week.

You – and your family and friends – can call your members of Congress and tell your story of how you’ve been affected by pancreatic cancer. The calls only take a few minutes and have a profound impact.

We’ll provide the phone numbers for each of your members of Congress and you can use the script we’ve prepared to guide you.

Eight-year, stage IV pancreatic cancer survivor and PanCAN CEO advocate for federal research funding

Camille Moses, left, an eight-year pancreatic cancer survivor and advocate, with PanCAN President and CEO Julie Fleshman in Washington, D.C., for a previous PanCAN Advocacy Day.

This simple action is especially meaningful for pancreatic cancer survivor Camille Moses of Florida.

“I participate in PanCAN’s Advocacy Week to show Congress that research can make a difference,” she said. “I am living proof, as an eight-year, stage IV survivor.”

Camille lost her mother to pancreatic cancer in 1984.

She said more must be done, as the survival rate for pancreatic cancer remains at 10%.

“We have come far in a short time, but we need to catch up to the progress seen with other cancers,” she said. “It’s important to show patients and families they are never alone in their fight.

“And when you’re able to help patients and families with a simple phone call, why not? It’s a huge way to make a difference and be heard.”

Jim Connelly is volunteer Advocacy Chair in the Portland, Ore., PanCAN affiliate. Like Camille, he knows the difference calling Congress today makes.

Both Jim and Camille have been to PanCAN’s Advocacy Day in Washington, D.C., and are participating with PanCAN virtually this year.

Advocates for pancreatic cancer cause in Washington, D.C., in 2018

Jim Connelly, a PanCAN advocate and volunteer leader in Oregon, at PanCAN’s Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill in 2018.

“Our legislators work for us,” Jim said. “It is important that they understand why their support and voice for pancreatic cancer research funding is so important to increasing the overall survival and outcomes of patients with pancreatic cancer.”

When advocates from all 50 states make calls today, our message is simple. We will ask Congress to increase funding for the Department of Defense’s dedicated pancreatic cancer research program. This program was created for the first time last year as a direct result of YOUR advocacy efforts, from $6 million to $10 million.

Additionally, advocates will ask members of Congress to support $44.7 billion for the National Institutes of Health and for $6.9 billion for National Cancer Institute.

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) said that the number of calls Congress receives is very important. Whitehouse lost his mother to pancreatic cancer and has been a longtime Congressional champion of PanCAN.

“Turning a pancreatic cancer diagnosis into something positive isn’t easy, but a big thank you to you for all you do,” he said to PanCAN advocates during the Kick-off Event for Advocacy Week on Monday. “It does make a difference.”

For the remainder of the week, there are other easy and impactful actions for you to do to reach Congress each day:

  • Wednesday: Send an email message to Congress
  • Thursday: Tweet your member of Congress
  • Friday: Wrap-up and thank-you for making a difference!
Contact a Patient Central Associate
Make your voice heard by calling Congress today.