Lisa Niemi Swayze, widow of “Dirty Dancing” star Patrick Swayze, took to the Hill last week to lobby for the Pancreatic Cancer Research and Education Act, introduced last Wednesday in the House of Representatives and the Senate.
The bill calls for the National Cancer Institute to develop a strategic plan every five years to conduct and support research and awareness promotion under the supervision of the Department of Health and Human Services. It would “amend the Public Health Service Act to provide for a Pancreatic Cancer Initiative,” according to the bill’s text. It also makes provisions for five year research grants, with aniston pokies $5,000,000 in authorized grant appropriations for fiscal year 2012, and an additional $20,000,000 authorized for centers of excellence, (in the Senate version).
Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) said in a statement, “Despite the terrifying statistics, it’s still one of the most overlooked types of cancer and research continues to be underfunded while the death toll climbs.” The five year survival rate for those diagnosed with pancreatic cancer is just 6%.
Others active on the issue include the American Cancer Society and its various regional subsidiaries, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, and various universities and cancer societies.
The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network has a lobby day scheduled for June 13-14, 2011 and is urging those impacted by the disease to plan to attend.
Patrick Swayze died in 2009, 22 months after being diagnosed with the disease.