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Special Edition - June 2002 Volume 4, Issue 11:
Washington Comments
Senator Specter
“The unique characteristic of OVAC that is so effective with policymakers is its ability to bring together the continuum of cancer advocacy groups around one, unified message -- that the federal government must maintain sustained increases for vital cancer research and application programs. We have harnessed the passion and the power of the cancer stories of millions of Americans and developed a potent vehicle for delivering our urgent, life-saving message to Congress.” Dan Smith, American Cancer Society

“OVAC has been a valuable platform on which we can amplify our collective voices on the most critical issue to all of us....medical research funding to find a cure!” George Dahlman, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

“Working with other organizations in OVAC shows the value of groups with common agendas working together. Everyone has a seat at the table, everyone has a voice in the decisions ... and people touched by cancer are the ultimate beneficiaries of our collective, collaborative efforts. OVAC has helped new organizations have a real impact in DC. OVAC lets us learn from people with experience and knowledge, and has shortened our learning curve. The end result? We've become effective cancer advocates.” Nancy Roach, Colon Cancer Alliance, Seattle, WA

“Al and I again attended OVAC this year. It was even more meaningful and rewarding this year, as we had just lost our dear leader and friend, Brad High, who fought so hard for so long. It was his intention to be there this year – he knew the importance of telling your personal story, along with over 40 other cancer groups, to ask our congressmen to support the bill for more funding. It obviously has much more significance when we do this as a large group. We’re so glad we were able to be there.” Marilyn Alexander and Al Jacobsen, Philadelphia, PA

“I am happy the IMF has joined forces with OVAC. There is strength in numbers. I feel our presence on Capitol Hill this lobby day was recognized and received differently than last year due to our focused message. Our requests were spelled out clearly for us and for the elected officials. While these visits are absolutely necessary it can not stop with a once-a-year trip to Washington D.C. The most important message I left with is we must continue to spread the word at home. Our cancer families are depending on us and our elected officials need to hear from us, often!” Connie Whiteman, Modesto, CA

“OVAC is a vital reminder to Congress that cancer is treatable, curable. OVAC’s mission is not just about funding cancer, but moving relevant basic research to the lives of constituents. Every three days in America the equivalent of 9/11 deaths happen in cancer. OVAC is a crucial voice in keeping the nation’s economic and medical priorities straight.” Norma Holmes, Arlington, VA

“The OVAC lobbying effort in Washington, DC was like a breath of fresh air, particularly for those of us with orphan and deadly cancers. The concept of raising appropriations up to the levels of what is authorized in NCI budgets will stop a whole bunch of winner / loser infighting over the precious dollars that can lead to lives saved for cancers who right now see very little federal funding. I think we were well prepared; we were heard; and Susie Novis was marvelous.” Tim Scully, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA

“Incredible experience! An event to look forward to! As a first-timer, I had no idea what to expect; however, the interactions with other Cancer advocates and the feeling of making a difference, was an unforgettable emotion.” David Robertso, Bowling Green, Kentucky

“When dealing with my diagnosis of multiple myeloma, initially my wife and I felt helpless. As we sat in on the OVAC meeting, surrounded in the audience and on the panel by so may brave, strong and determined people, we had such a feeling of empowerment. What a great concept, so many people dealing with many different types of cancer coming together to raise their voices as one. I am convinced that every time I attend a meeting such as OVAC, or a seminar on cancer, that a cure for all is no longer down a long and winding road, but just around the corner.” Philadelphia, PA

Senator Harkin and
Mary Godwin

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