Kids fighting cancer are capturing the attention of national lawmakers and President Trump, thanks to the efforts of a Central Coast mom.
Guadalupe resident Lee Marchiano became a childhood cancer advocate when her daughter Melinda got sick and beat cancer 10 years ago.
“Only four new drugs have been developed for childhood cancers in the last 20 years,” Marchiano said.
STAR stands for Survivorship, Treatment, Access and Research. The legislation authorizes $30 million annually from 2019-2023 to study childhood cancers, develop new drugs, as well as treatments to address the after-effects of cancer.
One of the main goals of the STAR Act is to collect bio-specimens and information from kids, teens and young adults fighting cancers with the least effective treatments.
“It also provides for a pediatric cancer expert on the National Cancer Advisory Board so that children with cancer have a seat at the table,” Marchiano said.
Marchiano was watching C-SPAN as representatives discussed the act on the Senate floor and ultimately, passed it.
“It was overwhelming to me,” Marchiano said. “I wept. I just wept.”
Then, on Tuesday, June 5, President Trump signed the Childhood Cancer STAR Act into law.
“When I found out President Trump was going to sign the bill – I don’t have words,” Marchiano said.
It’s a huge step and victory for Marchiano and all families who’ve been impacted by childhood cancer.
Now, Marchiano and the Coalition are pushing lawmakers to secure $30 million a year, for five years, to fund the special research.
You can help out by using #STARact on Twitter to tweet at lawmakers, urging them to secure the necessary funding. Or, Marchiano also encourages everyone to retweet other tweets with #STARact.
BREAKING NEWS! We did it! The Childhood Cancer #STARAct was signed into law! The legislation authorizes $30 MILLION annually from 2019 to 2023 for programs and research related to childhood cancer. Thank you to all of our champions and the entire community. pic.twitter.com/yQQAoPNlEp
— CAC2 (@cac2org) June 5, 2018
As a lifelong advocate for @StJude in the fight to end childhood cancer, I am extremely proud of @realDonaldTrump for signing the #STARAct into law. We have lost too many innocent children and as Danny Thomas said, “no child should ever die in the dawn of life.” https://t.co/1NOlpmwbL1
— Eric Trump (@EricTrump) June 7, 2018