Sens. Mark Udall, D-Colo., and Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., and Rep. Joe Sestak, D-Pa., and former Rep. Deborah Pryce, R-Ohio, will join activists for a rally at Taft Memorial Park on Capitol Hill this morning at 8:30 to raise awareness about the need to appropriate monies designated for childhood cancer research. The lawmakers will announce the formation of a new House Pediatric Cancer Caucus, and that Congress has proclaimed Sept. 12 as National Childhood Cancer Awareness Day.
More from Sestak:
As the parent of a child diagnosed with cancer, the Congressman spoke about the heart-wrenching, emotional experiences that every one of the more than 14,000 families with a child with cancer endures. He also noted that each day, 46 children—more than two classrooms of kids—will be diagnosed with cancer. His daughter’s experience and his concern about healthcare in general were, in fact, the main catalysts for his decision to run for Congress.
“I firmly believe that it is only through the collaboration of the government, private organizations like CureSerach, doctors, and the families affected by this devastating illness that we can come closer to finding a cure,” said the Congressman. “The establishment of the House Pediatric Cancer Caucus is a significant step forward that will give voices to thousands of sick children and represent the struggles of every family battling the disease.”
The mission of the Pediatric Cancer Caucus, which Congressman Sestak will co-chair, is to serve as a clearinghouse for information on pediatric cancer and a bipartisan forum to aid members of Congress in working together to address pediatric cancer. Its goals include increasing funding for pediatric cancer research, encouraging the collaboration between the public sector and private research organizations and supporting the training of skilled pediatric cancer specialists. As the first initiative of the caucus, the Congressman is introducing a House resolution commemorating Pediatric Cancer Awareness Day in September.
I wonder if starting a new caucus signals anything about his possible / almost for sure run for Senate in 2010. More knowledgeable minds will have to weigh in on that.