President Bush is coming to Ohio this afternoon to raise $570,000 for Republican Congressional efforts following an 11 a.m. signing of U.S. Rep. Deb Pryce's (R-Columbus) pediatric cancer bill in the Oval Office.
Pryce applauded the signing of the legislation she authored titled the Caroline Pryce Walker Conquer Childhood Cancer Act. The statement said the legislation authorizes $150 million over five years for pediatric cancer research and outreach, and reaffirms our nation's commitment to eradicating the number one cause of death by disease for children.
Pryce said that today is a cause for celebration and renewed hope for any child or family embroiled in the fight against pediatric cancer.
"While oncologists and researchers continue to break new ground in understanding and treating these diseases, there must be a robust funding partnership between government and the medical and research communities if we are to hasten our search for a cure," Pryce said. "At long last, we will be harnessing our nation's vast resources and expertise to put an end to a scourge that takes the lives of more than 2,300 children every year."
Pryce continued, "Nine years ago, pediatric cancer took my daughter, Caroline, indiscriminately depriving her of a life of great promise. This law will bring us closer to fulfilling her vision - a world in which no child will ever again have to hear the horrifying words, ‘You have cancer.'"
The Caroline Pryce Walker Conquer Childhood Cancer Act authorizes $30 million annually for five years to hasten advancements in pediatric cancer research. It creates a national database on childhood cancers to help researchers detect trends in the diseases, and provides educational and informational services to patients and families to ensure they have access to appropriate clinical treatment and the array of vital support services.
During markup of the bill in the House Energy and Commerce Committee, the legislation was renamed the Caroline Pryce Walker Conquer Childhood Cancer Act of 2008, in honor of Pryce's daughter, Caroline, who lost her valiant battle against neuroblastoma in 1999 at the age of nine.
Pryce was joined today at the signing ceremony by two central Ohio pediatric cancer patients, Eden Adams and Hannah Lewis, both of whom are patients at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus.
Eden, 8, suffers from Neuroblastoma. She is undergoing chemotherapy and may soon undergo spot radiation. Previously, Eden had stem cell transfusions, bone marrow transplant, surgeries, and radiation. She has lost her hearing because of prior chemotherapy, and must get transfused platelets. She is now platelet dependent.
Hannah, 7, suffers from Rhabdomyosarcoma, and over the next year, she will be scanned every three months for treatment. Hannah has undergone both chemotherapy and radiation, but is currently in remission.
Both children are pediatric cancer patients at Nationwide Children's Hospital, and attended today's White House bill signing ceremony.