by Kristen Pugh
Nearly 10,000 cancer patients, survivors and their families from every congressional district in the country recently made a pilgrimage to Washington, D.C., to celebrate survivorship and urge Congress to make cancer a national priority.
And City of Hope’s Yvonne Rosas-Petty stood side by side with them.
Organized by the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Action Network, the Celebration on the Hill event on Sept. 20 called attention to the need to battle cancer through education, advocacy, research and patient care.
Throughout the day, volunteers participated in the Relay for Life, the society’s signature event. In addition, the American Cancer Society trained more than 4,000 legislative ambassadors from state chapters to advocate to members of Congress for increased funding for cancer research and cancer prevention and detection programs.
Rosas-Petty, a registration representative in Ambulatory Care and Hematology at City of Hope, represented the American Cancer Society’s East San Gabriel Valley Chapter as a legislative ambassador. During the event, she led a meeting with Rep. David Dreier to discuss the need for boosting federal funding for the National Cancer Institute and the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program.
On the national mall, the Relay for Life Wall of Hope stood as a monument to survivors, patients and caregivers. As the day ended, 20,000 luminarias glowed to memorialize those who had lost their battle with cancer.
“Survivors marched proudly like soldiers returning from war around the reflecting pond, holding signs from each of our 50 states,” Rosas-Petty remembered. “It was a site that reminded me that cancer has no preference, no geographic design; it can touch us all and we must stand up together to push Congress to increase funding to fight this war on cancer.”