Thursday, April 6, 2017

American Cancer Society - Minnesota Day At The Capitol Is A Success!

I feel so grateful to work with the American Cancer Society!
For many years, I have been given countless opportunities to work across most all aspects within the cancer space.  Advocacy is truly one of my favorite ways to make a difference!
this year, our 'Day The capitol' event was informative and effective, as I joined approximately, one hundred other cancer advocates (my ACS CAN staff leader, Dana, calls us "Cancer Super Heroes!"), from across the great state of Minnesota, to talk to our legislators about key pieces of legislation which are vital to cancer patients and their families.

*Palliative Care
*Links Of Care
*Statewide Health Improvement Partnership (SHIP)

MN Legislation specifics can be found:

I began my cancer advocacy work by first writing a letter to my then, US Senators, calling for their support for legislation related to prostate cancer issues.  After, I began calling my state representatives, members of congress and both state and US senators - again imploring their support for needs like, access to care, screening issues, funding, etc.  It was at that time I knew I wanted to do even more! 
Because of my efforts, I was given an opportunity to travel to Washington, D.C. and speak to my senators, on Capitol Hill!  I remember being so nervous to talk face to face with my lawmakers about cancer legislation. I spent hours preparing by trying to memorize the language and key elements of the legislation and worked to perfect my 'ask' of support from each lawmaker I was to speak to.  I chuckle as I look back on that experience, how 'over the edge' with worry, I was!
The American Cancer Society and my ACS staff partners prepare me and all advocates with the information to support the current legislation up for vote, and quickly remind me that my story - my experience, is what will have the greatest impact and influence when speaking with a lawmaker.
After all, with 1 in 3 people will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime, they most likely have a cancer connection of their own and want to help do something about it!

Pictured with my district advocacy team members and Rep. Tama Theis.  Tama has been an incredible supporter of past and current legislation - for which I am so grateful!

As an American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network Ambassador (ACS CAN), Because of my advocacy experience, I was an ACS CAN Coach/Navigator for The Day At The Capitol. I proudly wore my ACS CAN red vest so I could be easily identified among advocates, for those in need of assistance during their conversations with their lawmakers.

All in all, it was an energizing and successful Day At The Capitol!

Each year I'm left with such a sense of accomplishment and optimism, which sets the tone for the work I will accomplish as the year progresses.  As every year, there is much work to be done!

Facing Cancer Together,


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