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Advocacy Efforts


May 26, 2010



The United States Senate passed the National Brain Tumor Awareness Resolution by unanimous consent. The resolution was sponsored by Senator Collins and was passed due to the efforts of brain tumor advocates everywhere who contacted their Senators and encouraged them to vote for the resolution.

March 21, 2010


Quoted directly from the North American Brain Tumor Coalition newsletter:

“On Sunday, March 21, 2010, the House of Representatives passed the health reform bill that was approved by the Senate on Christmas Eve, 2009. The bill, approved by the House by a vote of 219 to 212, will be sent to the President for his signature.

Of special interest to the cancer community is the provision of the Senate bill, championed by Senator Sherrod Brown, that would require coverage for routine patient care costs for those with cancer and life-threatening illnesses who are enrolled in clinical trials. The clinical trials coverage provision applies to private insurance plans and the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program.”

January 21, 2010

VABC formed the Patient-Caregiver Advocacy Committee in 2009. Chaired by Robert Cannata and co-Chaired by Dora Lichtenstein, the Committee has already seen great success. In June, VABC joined the North American Brain Tumor Coalition (NABTC), a network of nonprofit organizations that are dedicated to advancing the interests of individuals with brain tumors through coordinated and cooperative public policy efforts.

Robert Cannata, Dora Lichtenstein, and Alyssa Coleman-Gendal are VABC’s representatives to NABTC. Over the past several months, NABTC has been active in advancing essential elements of health care reform, such as including the Brown-Hutchison Clinical Trials Amendment in the Senate bill. The Senate provision will require health and insurance plans to pay for the routine patient care costs for those enrolled in clinical trials, in a manner consistent with coverage of those costs if the patient were receiving standard therapy outside a trial.

In addition, the Patient-Caregiver Advocacy Committee has been working closely with the Granting Committee and Marketing Committee to establish new support groups in New York and throughout the rest of the country. We look forward to continued success in 2010.

August 11, 2008

The National Brain Tumor Coalition recently released the following statement regarding brain tumors and cell phone use. Voices Against Brain Cancer supports and agrees with their statement.  Click here to read the statement.

May 22, 2008


Wonderful news! The House of Representatives just passed the resolution designating May as National Brain Tumor Awareness Month. This is an important accomplishment for the brain tumor community and a big step in our continual efforts to educate the public and enhance awareness about brain tumors.

 Thank you to everyone who has written letters to their Representatives!

May 20, 2008

In the wake of Senator Ted Kennedy‘s diagnosis, please contact your United States Senators and RepresentativeNational Institute of Health by at least 6%, eliminating the two-year waiting period for Medicare, and designating May as the National Brain Tumor Awareness Month. immediately and urge them to support important legislation that will have a profound effect on the brain tumor community. Voices Against Brain Cancer is in support of increasing funding for the

First, ask your Representative and Senators to support increasing funding for the NIH by at least 6%. This would ensure that the NIH begins to make up the ground lost to inflation and would permit the agency to sustain its investment in biomedical research.

Next, ask your Representative to cosponsor the Ending the Medicare Disability Waiting Period Act, H.R. 154. For your Senators, the bill is S. 2102. Currently, brain tumor patients who are eligible for Social Security Disability are required to “wait” two years before they begin to receive Medicare benefits. This means that brain tumor patients may have no means to pay for health care at a time they need it most.

Lastly, ask your Representative to cosponsor H Res 1124, the National Brain Tumor Awareness Month Resolution. Representatives can show their support for Senator Kennedy and rest of the brain tumor community and their commitment to enhancing awareness of brain tumors by signing on as a cosponsor of H Res 1124.

If you make a telephone call to your Representative or Senators, you should ask for the Health Care staffer and leave your message with that staffer. And consider the letter a basic script for your call. If you do not know the name of your Representative, please go to and look on the header of the page to search by zip code. To find your Senators, go to and look on the header of the page to search by state.

May 4, 2008

On May 5 and May 6, 2008, Rob Cannata, a VABC Board Member, will be in Washington, D.C. to join the North American Brain Tumor Coalition (NABTC) in their advocacy efforts. They will urge Congress to take action on improving brain tumor treatments and access to health care. Robert will participate in a day-long advocacy training day sponsored by the NABTC. The next day, he will meet with his Representative and Senators to urge that they increase funding for the National Institute of Health by 6%, eliminate the two-year waiting period for Medicare, and designate May as National Brain Tumor Awareness Month.

For more information on the North American Brain Tumor Coalition, their public policy goals, or how to become an advocate, please visit their website at



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