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franklin county times

Johnson chosen to represent county at nationwide event

By Staff
From staff reports
The American Cancer Society, the nation's leading voluntary health organization, named Belinda Johnson of Russellville as an Ambassador to represent her local community at Celebration on the Hill 2006, a nationwide event to be held in Washington, D.C., Sept. 19-20, that will engage Members of Congress in the fight against cancer.
In this role, Johnson will be among 10,000 fellow Celebration Ambassadors, cancer survivors and volunteers from every congressional district in the country at the event, which is being hosted by the American Cancer Society Cancer Action NetworkSM.
During the event the advocates will meet with lawmakers to ask that Congress make cancer a national priority by boosting the federal commitment to cancer research and programs. Participants will also converge upon the National Mall to share stories about how their lives have been touched by cancer. Celebration Ambassadors are community leaders, survivors, caregivers, health professionals, cancer researchers and volunteers who believe that defeating cancer will require courageous policy decisions by government officials at the federal, state and local levels. For further information, visit acscan.org/celebration.
"Cancer is the most feared disease in America. We want our Members of Congress to know that this fear is felt in every corner of Alabama," said James Woodall, Chairman of the American Cancer Society's Relay For Life of Franklin County. "In 2006, an estimated 1,399,790 million Americans will be diagnosed with cancer and an estimated 564,830 will die from the disease. In our state alone, we will see an estimated 24, 390 new cases and 9,840 deaths. These Ambassadors know the personal side of these statistics. We are honored that Belinda will be carrying our message about making cancer funding a national priority to Members of Congress."
Celebration on the Hill celebrates cancer survivorship and empowers Society volunteers to become a powerful force in the fight against cancer. This year's event will educate the public about cancer, commemorate those who have passed away from cancer, engage Members of Congress in the fight against cancer and honor state policy changes that have advanced the Society's mission to eliminate cancer as a major health problem.
The federal government plays a critical role in reducing the cancer burden on this country. In December, Congress passed legislation that cut the budget of the National Institutes of Health for the first time in 35 years and reduced funding for cancer research for the first time in a decade. Ambassadors will work to restore and increase federal funding for lifesaving cancer research and programs at the National Institutes of Health, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
In addition, Ambassadors will work to reduce cancer's disproportionate burden on the underserved by asking Congress to reauthorize and expand the CDC's National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program. By reauthorizing the program, states will have more flexibility to reach eligible women who are most in need. Increasing funding by just $45 million would enable the program to serve an additional 130,000 or more women.
First held in 2002, Celebration on the Hill is being organized under the auspices of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN). ACS CAN is the Society's nonprofit, non-partisan advocacy sister organization dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major public health problem through voter education and issue campaigns aimed at influencing candidates and lawmakers to support laws and policies that will help people fight cancer.
Celebration on the Hill 2006 will harness the grassroots power found in 4,750 communities across the country that host Relay for Life events. Relay is a unique overnight activity that offers everyone in a community an opportunity to take part in the fight against cancer. Relay For Life participants organize teams to walk, run or otherwise move around a track to demonstrate their resolve to eliminate cancer as a major public health problem.
The American Cancer Society is partnering with ACS CAN, its sister advocacy organization, to eliminate cancer as a major public health problem. Founded in 1913 and with national headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia, the Society has 13 regional Divisions and local offices in 3,400 communities, involving millions of volunteers across America. For more information anytime, call toll free 1-800-ACS-2345 or visit www.cancer.org. ACS CAN uses voter education and issue campaigns aimed at influencing candidates and lawmakers to support laws and policies that will help people fight cancer. ACS CAN does not endorse candidates and is not a political action committee. For more information, visit www.acscan.org.

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