It’s president’s day but I’m in no mood for celebration.
Oh it’s not because I’m not a patriot as I believe in values like freedom and equality – all of the things that we’ve fought for as a country. That I’ve walked for.
But we have a fight of a different kind now and we’ve been abandoned by our leaders.
This blog is about the funding for the National Cancer Institute (NCI), this government’s, our government’s, decade long disregardment of, what the World Health Organization called the deadliest disease in 2010 and nothing else.
Let’s take a look at the numbers. They represent the total budget of NCI in billions of dollars.
2000 $ 3.3
2001 $ 3.8
2002 $ 4.2
2003 $ 4.6
2004 $ 4.7
2005 $ 4.8
2006 $ 4.8
2007 $ 4.8
2008 $ 4.8
2009 $ 5.0
2010 $ 5.1
2011 $ 5.1
2012 $ 5.1
2013 $ 4.8
Let me give you some context. This past fiscal year, the current administration earmarked $ 6.3 billion for Ebola virus research, a disease that affected, what, 1 or 2 people in the US and yet 1/2 of all men and 1/3 of women will be diagnosed with cancer. Nevermind the 2-4 million dogs that develop the same types of cancer every year. Why?
But I get it – it’s politically expedient. Ebola grabs headlines.
On my first walk, I met with a few legislators and lobbyists and what they said was, ‘Great cause, just get a spokesperson and a celebrity around it and then we’ll listen.’ And so I walked the entire expanse of the West Coast in search of someone who would stand up. No one did.
Even though celebrities talk about how devoted they are to animal causes.
In my little world of walking 4k miles for this cause, you get tired of those that just talk and talk
which is why I’ve walked the walk. No one has the right to present themselves as a dog lover unless they stand up to the number one killer of dogs. Cancer.
I return to DC in June without a celebrity or a spokesperson. I am no longer a naif. Having witnessed all of the death I have from cancer I will stand up and be heard.