Help me fight cancer and stop the shutdown
  • Petitioned U.S. House of Representatives

This petition was delivered to:

U.S. House of Representatives
U.S. Senate

Help me fight cancer and stop the shutdown

    1. Michelle Langbehn
    2. Petition by

      Michelle Langbehn

      Auburn, CA

  1.  
  2.   
October 2013

Victory

The US government shutdown officially ended late on the evening of Wednesday, October 16th. Michelle wrote: "I would like to thank every person that signed the petition. When this began, I thought I would be lucky to gather a few hundred signatures. To watch it grow into the tens of thousands was truly humbling. Now that the goverment has reopened, my hope is that those cancer patients who were waiting to receive treatment from the NIH have not been compromised and are soon able to acquire the assistance they desperately need. I wish that this episode will not lead to more partisan fighting and that the politicians from both parties will learn that shutting down the government is never an effective option. Maybe now the politicians will begin to put the American people first."

My name is Michelle and while the government is shut down, my cancer continues.

When the government closed late Monday night, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) was set to review my medical files to possibly be entered into a clinical trial for a new medication that could save my life. I've already been through nine months of chemotherapy, two cycles of radiation, a spinal fusion and several tumor removal surgeries and all of these procedures are taking a toll on my body. I have sarcoma which is a rare form of cancer. I need another form of treatment and the drug in the NIH trial I'm being considered for is it.

This isn't just about me. Every week, about 200 new patients -- including sick children -- begin NIH clinical trials. Now we're being told that we have to wait until the government re-opens to start our trials. The NIH has said that six different trials could have been started in the first week of the shutdown alone. About 75% of NIH's employees -- thousands of people -- have been furloughed because of the shutdown. It's not even just about us. What doctors learn from our medical trials could help thousands more in the future -- even you or a loved one. Even if I'm not found eligible for the specific NIH trial I am being considered for, the only way that I will be able to acquire this drug will be to go through programs administered by the FDA or the National Cancer Institute (part of NIH) -- both of which are also impacted by the shutdown.

I'm furious that Congress has chosen to shut down the government and leave so many of us behind. This is not just about the debt ceiling or national parks. For me, the shutdown means that Congress is denying me potentially life-saving treatment. I speak for everyone battling cancer when I say we don't have time to wait.

The government shutdown is affecting so many of us across the country in a very personal way. For me, its affecting my fight for my life. I've had enough and it's time to get NIH -- and our country -- moving again. It's time to stop the government shutdown. Please join me in asking your member of Congress to stop the government shutdown and get back to functioning again.

To:
U.S. House of Representatives
U.S. Senate
Help me fight cancer and stop the shutdown

Sincerely,
[Your name]

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Reached 150,000 signatures
    2. It's open!

      Michelle Langbehn
      Petition Organizer

      I would like to thank every person that signed the petition. When this began, I thought I would be lucky to gather a few hundred signatures. To watch it grow into the tens of thousands was truly humbling. Now that the goverment has reopened, my hope is that those cancer patients who were waiting to receive treatment from the NIH have not been compromised and are soon able to acquire the assistance they desperately need. I wish that this episode will not lead to more partisan fighting and that the politicians from both parties will learn that shutting down the government is never an effective option. Maybe now the politicians will begin to put the American people first.

    3. Thank you all. Let's keep fighting!

      Michelle Langbehn
      Petition Organizer

      Thanks so much for the support for my petition! Since I launched this petition, NIH has begun to review pending applications for ongoing trials. I've learned that I am not eligible to participate in the desired trial due to specific features of my cancer. While this is a setback for me, I want to continue to stand with all of the other patients fighting for their lives who won't be able to join trials and begin crucial treatments because of the shutdown. Please continue to join me in calling for an end to the shutdown so that these lifesaving trials can get back to normal operations.

    4. Reached 100,000 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Domenica pi Thorne DAVIE, FL
      • 7 months ago

      For these sick people to be taken care of I sign this petition

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • JACK PARKER SPENCER, TN
      • 8 months ago

      I was born in 1940 with a middle ear infection before penicillin was discovered.my parents were told that i would only live three to 7 days. I came home a healthy baby 10 days later, .In 1949 There was a polio epidemic. My neck,arms and legs became weak.THREE SPINAL TAPS ALL SHOWED THAT I HAD POLIO,I WAS PUT IN A CONTAGIOUS WARD WITH IN THREE DAYS I WAS RUNNING AROUND PUSHING KIDS IN THEIR WHEEL CHAIRS,THEY STARTED TAKING MY BLOOD EACH DAY AND SENDING IT TO JOHN HOPKINS HOSPITAL. My blood was used to make the polio vaccine by Jonahs Salk,I have survived many death sentences from several diseases,12 YEARS AGO I WAS DIAGNOSED WITH STAGE 3 PROSTRATE CANCER, MY DOCTOR CALLED AND SAID HE HAD ME SET FOR SURGERY IN TWO DAYS., I TOLD HIM TO CANCEL THE OPERATION AND THAT I WOULD NEED NO CHEMOTHERAPY.He laughed at me and said i would be dead in 3 years. I have a report from my cancer doctor that states'''MR.PARKER IS IN GREAT SHAPE AND HAS HAD NO CANCER TREATMENT AT ALL. HIS IMMUNE SYSTEM SEEMS TO HAVE FAULT THE PROSTRATE CANCER' HE IS CANCER FREE, God gave me this immunity at birth. I will be going to Duke Medical center in Durham,North Carolina n to give blood after Christmas and THEN TO THEIR D.N.A. FACILITY IN CANTON FOR D,N,A, PROCESSING.I NEVER GET SICK ,HAVE THE FLUE,OR ANY SICKNESS. I TELL YOU THIS AS I AM GOING TO SEE THAT THE CIVILIAN SIDE OF MEDICINE GETS IT FIRST.i SERVED IN THE NAVY AND MARINE MEDICAL CORPS SEVEN YEARS. WHEN THEY GET A NEW MEDICINE THAT KEEP IT FOR SEVERAL YEARS BEFORE THEY RELEASE IT TO HOSPITALS.THERE IS A REASON MY E-MAIL IS WHAT IT IS. THINK HOW MANY THOUSANDS NAVY CORPSMEN,CORPSWAVES AND DOCTORS ARE CALLED "NAVYDOC' I GIVE IT TO YOU NOW ,IN HOPES OF SPEEDING UP THE PROCESS +++ navydoc1@yahoo.com I STAND READY AS ALWAYS,TO BEYOND THE CALL OF DUTY, Jack Parker

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    • Adrian Westendorff CHARLESTON, SC
      • 9 months ago

      Senseless shutdown.

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    • robert fields LEANDER, TX
      • 9 months ago

      Christ believes in redemption

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    • Kimberly McCauley BIG SANDY, TX
      • 9 months ago

      When is the people of the government going to reach the post conventional stage in life where everything does not revolve around the speaker of the house. Everyone is being affected by the government shut down. Come on America! Get it together!! Innocent lives are being put in jeopardy due to the lack of unity. This is the UNITED States of America, not the divided states of America leading to the land of the Obamacared people who are fighting over the illogical foundation of health insurance that was an accidently created if I may add.

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