RACE for Children Act: Help the Law catch up to Science
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Our beautiful daughter, Brooke Hester, was the 3rd child in the United States to benefit from drugs selected specifically for her based on her own genetic mutations of her cancer. With these special drugs - for breast cancer, lung cancer, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, osteoporosis, brain cancer, acne, Leukemia (to name a few) - Brooke lived many more years with her aggressive pediatric cancer than her home hospital doctors first thought she could live.
But, few children in the United States have access to the kind of innovative, personalized treatments that Brooke had. One reason is that pediatric oncologists can't access the most novel and exciting new cancer drugs that are only available for adult cancers. Brooke was limited in her cancer care by two major obstacles: (1) Personalized or Targeted Therapy did NOT exist as an option for children with cancer when she was diagnosed in 2010. So for 18 months, she had no choice for survival other than to endure harsh old-fashioned chemotherapy and radiation options that for her cancer were largely inneffective, and (2) Brooke was limited to what she later referred to as "the icky old leftovers" for her treatment options because sadly, our system has not yet caught up to life-saving science for cancer care. In other words, if a child has a KNOWN pathway causing a tumor to grow that can be shut off with a drug, and an adult has a very similar or often the EXACT SAME kind of pathway making their cancer grow, ONLY THE ADULT gets the chance to try the hopeful drug, NOT THE CHILD.
I'm asking YOU, in memory of my extraordinarily brave little girl, Brooke, to PLEASE CONSIDER supporting the RACE for Children Act, that would REQUIRE companies developing cancer combating drugs to also allow children the same equal opportunity for HOPE when the molecular targets the drug is being developed for have been found by a child's doctor to be relevant in their cancer - - to receive the same opportunity for life as an adult.
The technology is there. The science is there. It is beyond time for change. Brooke's opportunities with targeted therapy began in 2012, over FOUR YEARS AGO. Every day more children are being diagnosed with cancer and every day more are dying. We need YOUR support to show Congress it is time to open the door to a future where more of our precious children, like Brooke, don't have to die, but are given the best chance to fight and survive without the more harsh traditional therapies that beat the body down without defeating the cancer. YOU can be a part of that future starting now. Learn more about the bill HERE.
The RACE for Children Act is a bipartisan bill. There are NO sides when it comes to saving the lives of children. It is something we can all come together to support so that children with cancer can get the very BEST treatments available to them.
NO MORE LEFT-OVERS.
Please stand up to the pharmaceutical industry. Please ask Congress to require drug companies to let children with terminal cancers have the same shot at treatment with the most exciting cancer drugs that are now reserved for adults. Please sign this petition, HUSTLE and take action today!
Jessica Hester, mom to my forever hero, Miss Brooke Elizabeth
Today: Brooke's Blossoming Hope for Childhood Cancer Foundation is counting on you
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