WASHINGTON D.C. — Sarah Grant’s journey to advocate for cancer research started nearly 20 years ago when she was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004.
“Cancer is a word you just don’t want to hear,” said Grant. “‘cause when I first heard it, it brought tears to my eyes.”
Grant underwent treatment and recovered but the cancer returned.
“I said, ‘oh no, not again,’” recalled Grant. “I’ve had it once. Don’t need it no more.”
Grant was determined to survive and survive she did.
The Atlanta native is now a proud grandmother and a volunteer with the American Cancer Society.
Grant was one of more than 600 volunteers with the organization who traveled to Washington D.C. Tuesday to meet with staffers for members of Congress from both parties to discuss efforts to treat the disease.
“Research funding — we definitely need a lot of that because the more research money we can get, the better off for cures being found,” said Grant.
Lisa Lacasse, president of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, said the organization is pushing for more funding for the National Cancer Institute and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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They’re also pushing for Congress to pass a bill aimed at boosting diversity in clinical trials and another proposal that would allow Medicare to cover the cost of more early-detection cancer screenings.
Both measures are bipartisan, with multiple Democrats and Republicans as co-sponsors.
The push for Congress to take action comes a day after President Joe Biden announced his goal of cutting cancer-related deaths in half over the next 25 years.
“Beating cancer is something we can do together,” said Biden Monday.
Grant said she’s optimistic about where the steps of her journey will lead.
“Eventually, there will be a cure for cancer,” said Grant. “It’s going to take a lot of research. But like I said, we’ve made a lot of progress and it’s coming along.”
The American Cancer Society said we have come a long way over the last few decades.
The group estimates that between 1991 and 2019, around 3.5 million deaths were prevented because of progress in cancer research.
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