Last week, I had the honor of representing Wisconsin on Capitol Hill by traveling to Washington, D.C. with more that 700 of my fellow American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) volunteers from across the country to urge Congress to make cancer a national priority.

Together, we called on Congress to support lifesaving policies that help people prevent and better treat cancer. We asked legislators for their support in increasing federal funding for cancer research, backing legislation to improve patient’s quality of life and removing cost barriers to colorectal cancer screenings for seniors.

When I met with Congressman Ron Kind, I told him that cancer is nonpartisan, and that Congress should seize the opportunity to pass critical legislation that can help end cancer as we know it. I also told him the story of my daughter Tammi who lost her battle to childhood leukemia in 1978, and that on Aug. 30 of this year, a young researcher named Dr. Christian Capitini got FDA approval on his treatment of pediatric leukemia.

Hopefully, 39 years of my prayers have been answered, that maybe just maybe another family will not have to suffer the heartache that our family has suffered. With Dr. Capitini’s research and treatment, hopefully pediatric leukemia will be conquered, and may be a thing of the past. Time will tell.

I also let our lawmakers know that Wisconsinites and many others across the country rely on them to support legislation that will help reduce the cancer burden, potentially making cancer history. With more than 1,650 people dying from cancer every day, we must take legislative action on these important issues.

I encourage you to join us, giving us a stronger and louder voice in the fight against cancer. Visit to be connected to people like me in your community.

Also join us at the local level by participating in the12th annual Chaseburg Sole Burner on Saturday, Sept. 23. Events begin at 11 a.m.

Linda DeGarmo

Volunteer, ACS Cancer Action Network