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Update on Alex's Fight Against Leukemia

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Friday September 22, 2000Is it my turn to speak yet?

Hi Everyone!

I just wanted to update you real quick on how everything went in Washington DC. I am still in shock. In a million years I would have never thought that I would find myself visiting with Senators and Representatives, let alone testifying in front of a Congressional Committee! It was awesome! Todd was trying to convince me the whole time that we were there that I needed to become a Lobbyist. "Honey, all you have to do is dress real nice and talk to people, you're MADE for this job!!!" We'll see. Alex also had a wonderful time. She danced for the cameras and smiled a lot. She shook hands with people while saying, "it's nice to meet you", she was perfect. We look forward to going again next year, hopefully with a bigger presence. That was one of the disappointing parts of the whole thing. Yes the media was there, but we have yet to see anything on C-Span or C-Span2 and we haven't seen any news stories on it. Yet, Michael J. Fox goes and testifies and it's on every program known to man. Very sad. We have decided that we need a celebrity connected with Childhood Cancer Awareness in order to raise public interest. Start writing Rosie O'Donnell and Oprah!!!

Alex on the Capitol LawnSome of the information and statistics that we came away with were very troubling as well. Childhood Cancer is the number 1 killer of children by disease in the United States, killing about 3,000 kids every year. It is second only to accidents as cause of death. 1 out of every 330 children will develop Cancer before the age of 20. 12,000 new cases of Childhood Cancer are diagnosed every year, 46 new cases every day. Yet only 24% of the American population know anything about Childhood Cancer. Funding for Pediatric AIDS quadruples that of funding for Pediatric Cancer, yet it kills only 100 kids every year which isn't even half the amount that die of Cancer in one month. The Pediatric Cancer rate is increasing at 1% every year, while funding for research continues to be minimal. Advances in the treatment and causes of Childhood Cancer can only be brought about by research on Childhood Cancer, while most of the advances in Adult Cancer treatment are due to Childhood Cancer research and breakthroughs. Our Nation's Children are dying at an alarming rate, and it's time that something gets done about it.

I would like to ask you to write your legislators, especially the ones that are running for office. Let them know that you see funding for Childhood Cancer Research as a very important issue and ask where they stand. It's time we raise public awareness. Look at what happened to AIDS once the public got involved and educated about it. We need to do the same thing for Childhood Cancer. If you want to send a picture of Alex you can take one from her site or you can call us (425-377-1295) or email us and we'll send you one of her. Things have to change and the only way they are going to change is if we do take action.

I'm going to get off my soap box now! Alex and I are at my parents until next Tuesday. I hope we get to see some of you! We will be trying to get down to the Bay Area the weekend of October 8th and then we have to go back to North Carolina October 16th and 17th for Alex's 1 year studies. Thank you again for all you have done for us. Thank you for your continual thoughts and prayers. Thank you for your faithfulness in checking this page, even when we fail to update it enough. You are all wonderful friends and we are blessed to have you. We'll talk to you soon.

Love,

Andrea, Todd and Alex

 

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