2014 Lobby Day

This year it seemed as though I was better prepared for the 2014 ACS CAN Leadership Summit & Lobby Day.  Over 600 volunteers from districts and states attended more this year than ever before.  Leading up to Lobby Day I had the opportunity to share my story and what I’d hoped to accomplish while in DC with my local newspaper.  Survivor Makes Voice Heard in Washington

Tears were shed because I had just learned of an old friend passing due to cancer.  She was only 34 years old with three young children.  One day she’s in the hospital having survey and chemotherapy.  A few short months later she had passed away.  So young and to die from colon cancer this just doesn’t seem real.  Doing this volunteer work each year many of us are faced with our own cancer challenges.  Several ACS CAN volunteers were being remembered for their hard work and dedication.  The room filled with sadness because they were no longer with us.  There are many moments of heart aches that comes along with dealing with cancer.  I continue to push myself in memory of all those we have lost.

My nerves get to me right before meeting with the Senators and Representatives from my district, but the training that we receive I feel much more confident to face them.  The Lights of Hope ceremony is just breath taking. Spiritually you sense the spirits of those who lost their battle with cancer present.  We all remain hopeful that one day soon this disease will no longer exist.  The ACS CAN Opener is the fun part, because we know that we can’t get though this 3-day event without reflecting on the good times that we’ve had.  Gillian Anderson once said, “Be of service. Whether you make yourself available to a friend or co-worker, or you make time every month to do volunteer work, there is nothing that harvests more of a feeling of empowerment than being of service to someone in need.”

P.S.

In memory of Sherri, Charley, and Shannon, because of them and their fight I will do every step and action to be a great volunteer.

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My Staff Partner and Team
My Staff Partner and Team

Meeting w_Al Green staff

Making Life Easier for Moms

2008
2008

Being a mother is one of the most rewarding and most difficult jobs there is. So imagine being a mom who is also battling cancer. When I was 29 and diagnosed with Stage III breast cancer, my first thoughts were how am I going to get through this and reassure my kids I would get better? While on active duty in the US Navy, I signed up to fight for my country, but never did I think I would be fighting for my own life.

This Mother’s Day, as we thanked our moms for all they do, I’d like to make life a little easier for the moms and others dealing with cancer. Fortunately, Congressman Kevin Brady can help by co-sponsoring federal legislation to increase access to palliative care.

Palliative care is specialized medical care that applies a team-based approach to the coordination of care and the treatment of a patient’s pain and other symptoms. The goal of palliative care is to improve the quality of life for both the patient and their family.

This year in Texas, 115,730 will hear the words “you have cancer” for the first time. Some of them will be moms, and others will be their loved ones. I strongly urge Congressman Brady to support legislation to help bring quality of life and care together for the millions of families facing cancer.

Latina Starling

Volunteer, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network

Spring, Texas