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First State cancer survivor joins rally to increase funding for research

American Cancer Society Action Network
Cindy Canevari and Tris Imboden, the drummer from the band Chicago, in Washington DC.

Cancer research advocates gathered on Tuesday in Washington to urge legislators to invest more in cancer research.

The American Cancer Society Action Network and Stand Up To Cancer teamed up to launch the “One Degree” campaign, based on the idea that all of us are connected to someone who has had cancer, to increase funding for cancer research. They demand that Congress put $6 billion dollars into medical research at the National Institute of Health over two years, including $1 billion dollars for the National Cancer Institute.

For 2015, the American Cancer Society predicts there will be at least a million and a half new cancer cases, along with over half a million cancer deaths. Delaware currently ranks 14th in the nation for cancer mortality rates.

Among the activists attending were celebrities, including Pierce Brosnan and Kareem Abdul Jabbar, as well as state ambassadors. Milford resident Cindy Canevari attended to represent Delaware in Washington.

“I can’t tell you how many people who I know including myself who are cancer survivors or have passed because of cancer,” said Canevari.

10 years ago, Canevari was diagnosed with breast cancer. And then two years later, she was diagnosed with bladder cancer. She managed to beat both of these diseases and she owes her victories to medical research.

“I wouldn’t be alive today if it wasn’t for research into new drugs, treatments, and the diagnostic tools that they have today,” said Canevari.

More than 80 percent of federal funding for the NIH and the National Cancer Institute is spent on medical research being conducted all over the country. In Delaware, NIH awarded $31.3 million dollars in grants and contracts during fiscal year 2013, which supported 503 jobs in the state.