Debbie’s Dream Foundation: Curing Stomach Cancer (DDF) will host its 8th Annual Stomach Cancer Capitol Hill Advocacy Day in Washington D.C. on February 10-11, 2020. The annual meeting allows stomach cancer patients, their families, and caregivers an opportunity to share their personal stories with members of Congress and relay the latest statistics and facts about stomach cancer to ensure that the disease remains eligible for funding through the Department of Defense’s Peer Reviewed Cancer Research Program (PRCRP).
On December 20, 2019, President Donald Trump signed into law the “Further Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2020” (H.R. 1865), which funds federal agencies for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2020. Congress again designated stomach cancer as eligible for research funding through the PRCRP, which saw its budget increase to $110 million. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) also experienced a funding increase of $2.6 billion for a total of $41.7 billion. Of this amount, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) will receive $6.44 billion.
In addition, the spending bills contain the most consequential language to date for stomach cancer research and early detection. Specifically, the agreement directs the NCI to develop a scientific framework using the process outlined in the Recalcitrant Cancer Research Act of 2012 for stomach and esophageal cancers and urges NCI to continue to support research with an emphasis on developing screening and early detection tools and more effective treatments for all recalcitrant cancers. NCI is directed to provide an update on NCI-supported research to advance these goals in the Fiscal Year 2021 Congressional Justification. Also, NCI is directed to add esophageal and stomach cancers to future Research, Condition, and Disease Categorization reports.
DDF‘s Chief Executive Officer Andrea Eidelman sees these recent developments as the direct result of the organization’s advocacy efforts for the past seven years. “Thanks to the vision and implementation of our late Founder Debbie Zelman, we can proudly say that DDF’s advocacy work on Capitol Hill has not gone unnoticed,” said Andrea Eidelman.
This year, Congressman Adam Kinzinger of Illinois’s 16th congressional district will be presented with the Congressional Champion Award for his demonstrated commitment to reducing death and suffering from stomach cancer through his leadership in ensuring stomach cancer’s continued eligibility for funding through the PRCRP and as a member of the Deadliest Cancers Congressional Caucus. DDF is also pleased to present its Volunteer of the Year Award to DDF supporter and stomach cancer survivor Denise Leprine of New York for her incredible devotion to the fight against stomach cancer.