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Childhood cancer advocates head to Washington
by Tribune Staff
Jun 07, 2012 | 1303 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Debbie Strickland
Debbie Strickland
RENO —  Northern Nevada Children’s Cancer Foundation’s executive director Debbie Strickland and a local family are joined others around the nation Wednesday to advocate for increased pediatric cancer research funding in Washington, D.C.

Strickland, Christy Smith and Bailey Johnson, Smith’s grandson, are participating in the 2012 Childhood Cancer Action Day at Capitol Hill to meet with members of Congress and receive training on issues facing families who are dealing with childhood cancer.

Johnson is a survivor of neuroblastoma, a type of cancer that develops in nerve tissue and occurs in infants and children.

“We are honored to visit with Nevada representatives and impress upon them how important it is to help families like us,” said Smith, who has made the trip several times in recent years.

Advocates will focus on improving treatments for childhood cancer survivors, developing more effective therapies and drugs for cancer and improving access to these treatments with the FDA Reform Act of 2012. Given current economic conditions, these advocates hope to prevent further decreases in available government funding that would directly benefit children who have cancer.

About 13,500 children are diagnosed with cancer each year, according to CureSearch for Children’s Cancer, and more than 40,000 children in the United States receive treatment each year. Cancer still remains the top cause of disease-related death for children.

“This is an important opportunity for us to keep the need for increased research funding for pediatric cancer and our kids at the forefront of our representatives’ minds,” Strickland said. “I look forward to a fruitful visit and hope to leave a message that resonates with our lawmakers as we continue to fight for our children.”

The Northern Nevada Children’s Cancer Foundation is the only local non-profit solely dedicated to serving local children and their families affected by childhood cancer.

NNCCF’s programs services include the Family Assistance Fund, the Inspire survivorship program, emotional support, annual fundraisers and the holiday Adopt-a-Family program. For more information, call (775) 825-0888, email or visit 
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