Advocates want $5B for childhood cancer fight

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Advocates for those with childhood cancers will tell lawmakers Tuesday that more funding is badly needed to help research and treat the diseases.

Members of the Alliance for Childhood Cancer are calling on congressional leaders to pass the Caroline Pryce Walker Conquer Childhood Cancer Reauthorization Act and increase funding to the National Cancer Institute (NCI).

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The total estimated bill would be $5.26 billion for fiscal year 2015. It includes $4.93 billion under President Obama’s proposed budget for NCI, which is an increase of $8 million.

“We know that through these visits and the grassroots efforts of those who were unable to travel to join us in person, we can demonstrate to Congress the power they have to make a difference in the lives of children with cancer, now and into the future,” said Amy Billett, co-chair of the Alliance for Childhood Cancer.

The organization says 250 childhood cancer patients, survivors and their families will be on the Hill to call on lawmakers to increase funding.

The bill is sponsored by Reps. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and Michael McCaul (R-Texas) and Sens. Jack Reed (D-R.I.) and Sen. Deb Fischer (R-Neb.).

The bill has 56 bipartisan House co-sponsors and 12 Senate co-sponsors.

“This legislation would expand the research of childhood cancers, improve efforts to identify and track childhood cancer incidences and identify opportunities to expand the development and research of therapeutics necessary to treat children with cancer,” said the alliance.

In 2008 the Caroline Pryce Walker Conquer Childhood Cancer Act, was unanimously passed by Congress and signed into law.

— This article was updated Tuesday, June 24, at 4:18 pm EST.