Previously, the Watertown Daily Times has covered the topic of pediatric cancer and the impact it has had on our community. In contrast, it also has been seen that our community has taken steps to assist those who are personally being impacted by pediatric cancer.
Although action and advocacy have taken place in the past, there are always further steps that can be taken on both the community and individual level, and it starts with you. The Global Hope Act of 2019 (H.R. 5338) in Congress draws attention to pediatric cancer, and I believe this is a bill that should gain more support from our local community and representatives.
On April 9, 2019, the Watertown Daily Times published an article relating to pediatric cancer titled “Lodge to aid families facing childhood illness — An escape from cancer.” This article addressed how parents Karen and Jim Curtis in partnership with the Help Sami Kick Cancer Foundation were transforming The Lodge at Dreaming Tree Ranch into a retreat area for families who were dealing with pediatric cancer. This act was generously done in memory of their adventurous daughter who loved the outdoors and had a heart for inspiring others.
This is one astounding act that took place to support those dealing with pediatric cancer. However, you too can make the decision to help support those in the community as well.
H.R. 5338 was created with the intent to authorize the secretary of state to pursue public/private partnerships, innovative financial mechanisms, research partnerships and coordination with international and multilateral organizations to address childhood cancer globally. If this bill is passed, it would call the United States to increase political commitment for both childhood cancer diagnosis and treatment, and support efforts to increase the survival rate of children with cancer globally.
In addition to this, there would be a push to improve access to affordable essential medicine and technology that would provide treatment for these children. And the United States would prioritize efforts in reducing the mortality rate surrounding childhood cancer both within the country and internationally through combined efforts with the United Nations, international health ministries and pharmaceutical companies.
Here in upstate New York, we need to take a stand against pediatric cancer. Supporting H.R. 5338 is an excellent place to start.