Lisa Niemi Swayze Letter from Pancreas Matters May 2012

Dear Pancreatic Cancer Action Network Friends: On June 25 and 26, hundreds of supporters from across the country will gather in Washington, D.C., to participate in the sixth annual Pancreatic Cancer Advocacy Day. I will be attending this empowering event with them and strongly encourage you to join us so that we can tell Congress together that they must pass the Pancreatic Cancer Research & Education Act (S. 362/H.R. 733) before the end of the year. This is our moment. Our devoted advocates around the country have succeeded in getting an overwhelming bi-partisan majority of the House and a near majority of the Senate to co-sponsor this game-changing bill. Thanks to your hard work, the bill has more co-sponsors and more bi-partisan support than any other piece of legislation that has been referred to the congressional committees with jurisdiction over the bill. Building this level of support is an amazing achievement, but we cannot afford to rest now when we are so close to victory. In an average Congress, only three percent of bills become law. Many of the bills that do not get passed even have strong support among members of Congress and are good policy. A motivated “army of heroes” who relentlessly push to get a bill passed is often the key difference between the bills that become law and those that don’t. If you haven’t already done so, I encourage you to register today and join me and your fellow advocates in Washington, D.C., this June. I also hope that you will mark your calendar to participate in the Three Week Challenge to Victory, which starts on June 12 and helps amplify our voices on Advocacy Day. If you cannot travel to D.C., the three challenges are easy activities that you can do from home to help draw congressional attention to the bill and culminates in our annual National Call-In on June 26. Lisa and Patrick Patrick believed in the power of advocacy and asked Congress to provide additional cancer research funding in the months before his passing in an impassioned editorial in the Washington Post. I know it would have meant a lot to him to have this flag carried on, and that we continue to raise awareness and bring attention to this difficult disease. I know he would be proud of the work the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network is doing to accelerate research progress and create hope. On June 25, I want you to stand with me on Capitol Hill along with hundreds and hundreds of our passionate advocates. Stand up for those who are battling the disease. Stand up for those yet to be diagnosed. Stand up for those who are gone. Please join me as I stand up in Patrick’s memory, for all the loved ones we’ve lost to pancreatic cancer, and those that are “in the fight” now! Sincerely, Lisa Niemi Swayze Pancreatic Cancer Action Network Chief Ambassador of Hope