Every year, the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance works with survivors, Partner Members and champions in Congress to ensure that ovarian cancer research, awareness and control programs are funding priorities in the federal budget. This past year was no exception, despite the many budgetary challenges facing Congress.
As you many have heard, Congress recently passed an omnibus appropriations bill that will fund the federal government for the remainder of the 2014 fiscal year. We’re pleased to tell you that the hard work of everyone in our community has paid off.
The Ovarian Cancer Research Program (OCRP) received $20 million in funding – the amount that the Alliance and our community requested. Cancer control and awareness programs at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also received robust funding. Furthermore, funding for both the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) – which typically fund at least $100 million in ovarian cancer research yearly – will rise by around 3%.
While we are happy to see small improvements in funding for ovarian cancer research, this isn’t the time to rest on our laurels. Most advocates expect next year’s budget battle to be even harder. We will need to organize and fight so that we don’t lose any ground in 2015.
How can you help? As cancer survivor, caregiver or patient, your voice carries tremendous weight with your elected officials. We invite you to get involved with all of our advocacy and outreach. We tell our community when Congress is considering appropriations and give you easy tools to share your cancer journey and explain the importance of funding cancer research. We also bring survivors to Capitol Hill throughout the year, where they can meet face-to-face with policymakers.
People like you have helped us regain ground on ovarian cancer funding. Now we need to unite and speak out to ensure that these gains won’t slip away in the coming year.