“One Degree” Campaign Aims to Build Nationwide Movement
Supporting Lifesaving Research at National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute
Jackson, MS – The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) and Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) announced an unprecedented joint effort to save more lives from cancer by boosting the nation’s investment in lifesaving cancer research. The One Degree campaign brings together Hollywood celebrities and grassroots advocates from across the country to ask Congress to increase medical research funding at the National Institutes of Health by $6 billion over two years, including $1 billion for cancer research at the National Cancer Institute.
“Everyone has a connection to cancer – we’re all just One Degree away from a family member or friend who has fought the disease, and many of us have battled it ourselves,” said Chris Hansen, president of ACS CAN, the advocacy affiliate of the American Cancer Society. “One Degree brings the voices of millions of people affected by cancer to lawmakers with the message that Congress must boost the federal investment in cancer research.”
Federal funding for medical research has declined more than 24 percent in inflation-adjusted dollars since 2003, forcing cancer centers to halt promising clinical trials and drying up the grant pool relied upon by researchers. The One Degree campaign is combining the star power of Stand Up To Cancer’s celebrity supporters and the might of ACS CAN’s grassroots volunteers in a nationwide movement to make federal cancer research funding a priority.
Tomorrow, ACS CAN and Stand Up To Cancer will hold a One Degree Lobby Day in Washington, D.C. to officially launch the campaign – followed by more than two dozen grassroots events across the country.
Local volunteer Jane Streets is currently in the nation’s capital for the launch event to represent Mississippi and share her One Degree with Congress. Streets, from Brandon, is a 19-year breast cancer survivor.
“Despite the great progress being made against cancer, an estimated 1.7 million people in the United States, including 16,260 in Mississippi, will be diagnosed with the disease this year,” said Streets. “Cancer kills one person for every minute of every day in this country. It’s time to take a stand and ask Congress to boost lifesaving federal funding for cancer research. Together we will tell Congress that we’ve had enough. It’s time to end cancer.”
ACS CAN and Stand Up To Cancer have launched a website, OneDegreeProject.org, that invites members of the public to share their One Degree by entering the name of a loved one with cancer in an electronic petition that will be sent to Congress. The website also provides videos featuring actors Bill Hader and Rob Riggle that viewers can share via social media with the hashtag #OneDegree.
Federal funding for cancer research, prevention and early detection programs has had a role in every major advance against this disease, resulting in 350 more lives saved from the disease per day than in 1991. Past federal investments have also put the scientific community on the verge of making groundbreaking new discoveries that could accelerate our progress and bring us closer to ending death and suffering from cancer.
More than 80 percent of federal funding for the NIH and NCI is spent on biomedical research projects at local research facilities across the country. According to NIH, nearly $30 billion funded almost 50,000 research grants to more than 300,000 researchers at over 2,500 universities, medical schools and other research institutions in every state. In Mississippi, NIH awarded $47.7 million in grants and contracts during FY2013 that directly supported 1,368 jobs in the state.
Today, NIH funding is still well below where it was prior to sequestration in 2013. When accounting for inflation, NCI’s budget is more than 26 percent ($1.2 billion) below its 2003 funding level and the NIH budget is more than 24 percent ($6.5 billion) below where its budget was in 2003.
About ACS CAN
ACS CAN, the nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate of the American Cancer Society, supports evidence-based policy and legislative solutions designed to eliminate cancer as a major health problem. ACS CAN works to encourage elected officials and candidates to make cancer a top national priority. ACS CAN gives ordinary people extraordinary power to fight cancer with the training and tools they need to make their voices heard. For more information, visit http://www.acscan.org/.
About the Stand Up To Cancer Initiative
Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) raises funds to accelerate the pace of research to get new therapies to patients quickly and save lives now. SU2C, a program of the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF), a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, was established in 2008 by film and media leaders who utilize the industry’s resources to engage the public in supporting a new, collaborative model of cancer research, and to increase awareness about cancer prevention as well as progress being made in the fight against the disease. As SU2C’s scientific partner, the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) and a Scientific Advisory Committee led by Nobel Laureate Phillip A. Sharp, PhD, conduct rigorous, competitive review processes to identify the best research proposals to recommend for funding, oversee grants administration, and provide expert review of research progress. For more information, visit http://www.standup2cancer.org/.