Cancer is the leading cause of death by disease among children in the United States. Nearly 16,000 children and adolescents will be diagnosed with cancer in 2021 and nearly 2,000 will die of the disease, according to the National Cancer Institute.
Despite these facts the federal government does not adequately fund pediatric cancer research. According to the federally funded National Cancer Institute, in fiscal year 2018, it spent approximately 5% of its nearly $6 billion budget on pediatric cancer research. While there are hundreds of drugs designed and approved specifically for adult cancers, to date there are only 6 drugs designed and approved to specifically treat pediatric cancer. There has never been a drug designed and approved by the FDA for pediatric brain tumors, the deadliest form of pediatric cancer.
On April 14, 2021, my 2 year old son, Blake, died in my arms after battling brain cancer for nearly a year and a half. All of my hopes and dreams for my only child died on that day too. This petition to make the fight against pediatric cancer a national priority is a movement to protect our children’s futures and their ability to live out their dreams.
The petition: 1) urges President Biden to include a comprehensive strategy to end pediatric cancer as part of his national plan to, in his words, "end cancer as we know it"; 2) requests that President Biden include in his plan an initiative for the U.S. government to partner with the pharmaceutical industry to incentivize and require more aggressive development of pediatric cancer drugs; and 3) urges Congress to increase overall government research funding for pediatric cancer and pass the bipartisan Gabriella Miller Kids First Research Act 2.0.
On September 24, 2021 this petition was presented to members of Congress on the Childhood Cancer Caucus.