Congratulations and THANK YOU to California Inland Empire support group leader Anthony Sibert for being named our Advocate of the Month for June! Anthony has been a model advocate for the cancer community in many ways. Bringing awareness of the incidence of multiple myeloma in the African-American population through his participation in an article in The Legislator, a newsletter published by the National Black Caucus of State Legislators, is just one shining example of his commitment to IMF advocacy and public health.
Anthony was featured along with fellow myeloma patient and advocate, Caethe Goetz, in the March 2012 issue of The Legislator. Of this experience he states, “I really felt honored to be one of the featured persons in the article, and I hope it helps clarify to African-American legislators the importance of having affordable oral chemo medicine not only for African-Americans, but for all Americans who are having a difficult time paying for medicine they need to live. I've distributed the article in various meetings and it helps clarifies peoples' understanding of the seriousness of this issue, which in many cases they already understand, especially if they or a loved one is struggling to pay for cancer treatments.”
Anthony Sibert has a B.A. degree in Political Science and Administrative Studies from the University of California, Riverside and in the 1980s was a state legislative lobbyist for the UC Student Lobby. With his background it is no wonder why he has been very active in making sure his support group members have in-depth knowledge on what is happening on the political front for myeloma patients.
After attending an Advocacy Training this past December at the annual American Society of Hematology conference in San Diego, Anthony sought out Directory of Advocacy, Arin Assero, to speak to his group in January. “Our members needed to know what the current legislative landscape regarding the status of the campaign for full oral chemo parity, and what is going on in the California state level, not to mention what action they themselves can take to get oral chemo parity a reality.” Besides his background in politics Anthony says this was important to him “because so much of what affects myeloma patients in terms of medical care, access to a full range of cancer fighting medicine, low or cost-free health insurance, and quality of care, is decided by what our local, state, and federal legislators do in government.”
He has been very proactive in making sure his support group members participate in the work of the IMF’s advocacy program to ensure that they are educated on the issues at hand, taking actions to improve access to care, and raising awareness of multiple myeloma in his community and across the country. This month, when the Chemotherapy Access Act (AB 1000) in California will have its hearing in the state senate, Anthony will play an integral role in helping the IMF activate our grassroots network to ensure success for this effort.
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Thank you again, to Anthony Sibert, model advocate and support group leader- we are thrilled to have him in our corner!