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Another Member of Congress is in Our Corner

Guest DaveG

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I have just received a phone call from Jennifer Sweeney, aide to Representative Tammy Baldwin, 2nd District, Wisconsin. Tammy Baldwin has joined our forces and is going to bat for funding for Lung Cancer.

This phone call, this morning, made my day. As I have said many times, writing, emailing, calling your Congressional Representatives is so important. We need their support.

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Follows is the email I sent to Senator Russell Feingold, who has also responded. Perserverence is the key. If you don't get a response with 3-6 weeks, follow-up with another email or letter, or phone call. One hint, it is better to email, as regular mail to Gongress, is delayed by 2-3 weeks because of Anthrax screening. Remember, our Congressional Representatives are deluged with mail and email, on a daily basis. Should see that there will be a listening session in your area, attend that session. They will listen to each and every person who has something to say. Have the facts and figures ready and be able to reference the source of your information. Keep your presentation short and to the point. Usually you will get 5 minutes. If you get their attention, you will hear from them, as I did, and get more time to present your case, our case. Her is the email I sent to Senator Feingold:

Recently I had corresponded with you concerning the poor funding for Lung Cancer Research. In 2002, the projected number of deaths do to lung cancer is 156,000 Americans, of this there are 89,200 men and 65,700 women. In comparison, there are projected 39,000 women died of breast cancer, also 30,200 men died of prostate cancer.

Funding for breast cancer is approximately $11,000 per death, but for lung cancer it is a paltry $1100 per death. Overall this is a difference of approximately $245,000,000 per year in research.

It is projected that approximately 8000 people in Wisconsin died of lung cancer in 2002.

The above figures are from Cancer Facts and Figures at www.cancer.org (The American Cancer Society)

Recently a close colleague of yours, Senator Kennedy, has been touched by Lung Cancer, as his daughter, Kara, had surgery for Lung Cancer on January 2. Also, in January, Representative Clay Shaw had surgery for Lung Cancer. Clay Shaw quit smoking 30 years ago.

For far too many years lung cancer has been stigmatized by the smoking issue. We who have lung cancer are constantly faced with this issue "We brought it on ourselves". I quit smoking in 1997. I took the steps to prevent Lung Cancer. Clay Shaw, obviously, took the step many, many years ago. Lung Cancer is not an "exclusive" cancer. More than 50% of the 170,000 Americans diagnosed with lung cancer in 2002 were non-smokers.

I pray that you and the other members of the Senate and the House of Representatives will address the funding issue and find better treatment methods, and better diagnostic procedures so that this disease could be caught in it earliest stages when it is most treatable.

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