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Updated: 10/04/2013 06:29:41PM

Fighting cancer at home and in Washington, D.C.

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Heather Wildermuth, Director of Government Relations of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network; Congressman Trey Radel, Dist. 19; Becky MacKenzie, ACT Lead for ACS CAN; and Cheryl Dent, ACT Lead for ACS CAN District 17.

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Fighting cancer at home and in Washington, D.C.

Dear Editor:

As a survivor of cancer, I know that public policy can be a vital tool in the fight against cancer. I have been working with other people touched by cancer in Florida to educate our elected officials how their decisions can help people prevent and fight the disease. Last week, I traveled to Washington, D.C., to represent the voice of cancer survivors and patients in Congressional District 17.

When I met with Congressman Tom Rooney, I told him that continued support of research funding and prevention programs is critical to finding cures and stopping cancer before it starts. Without adequate federal funding, potential discoveries in research labs across the country may be trapped in beakers and test tubes while families sit waiting for treatments that could save the life of their loved one.

Our elected officials need to hear from the nearly 14 million cancer survivors in this country. I know I made a difference this past week, and I encourage everyone to get involved. Visit to be connected to people like me in your community. Let us work together across the country to finish the fight against cancer.

Cheryl Dent

Volunteer, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network

Lake Placid