October 26, 2013
On Thursday October 24, 2013, the MPNRF met with Representatives and Senators from around the country to deliver a message: stop sequestration now and restore funding to cancer research.
While organizations like MPNRF work hard to fund research independent of the government, the funds raised from individual donors can only go so far. NIH and CDC funding is necessary to advance research and get people with ET, PV, and MF the cures they need.
Our story was of patients without workable treatments, who are still dependent upon medieval therapies such as phlebotomy; and of world class research labs making deep and harmful cuts to staff due to funding instability. Accounting for inflation, the NIH budget has decreased by more than $6.4 billion (23 percent) since sequestration took effect. The CDC was forced to cut 5% across the board on all programs (including cancer prevention), accounting for $285 million.
Meetings were with staffers from the following Congress men and women:
Rep. Mike Kelly PA-03 (R)
Rep. John Boehner OH-08 (R)
Rep. Michael Rogers MI-08 (R)
Sen. Mark Kirk IL-S (R)
Rep. Shelley Moore Capito WV-02 (R)
Generally speaking the offices were supportive of the work NIH is doing, but none could commit to backing an increase in funding without larger changes to balance the budget. We won’t know for many months if our work yesterday was effective. However, there are staffers and elected officials newly acquainted with the MPNs because of our presence.