What does it mean to be an Advocate?
Advocacy is communicating to government officials on behalf of patients, caregivers, and all of us who have stake in eliminating brain tumors. Some advocates email elected officials from home. Many also attend meetings with legislators in-person and call them on the phone.
You can be an advocate for a few minutes or several hours at a time. In just 10 minutes you can email Congress, call both your Senators and U.S. Representative, and tell a friend about what you did and ask them to do the same. Advocacy can be done all year round. It also complements your participation in brain tumor-related events including Rides, Walks, and Races.
Brain tumor advocates are working to ensure that the largest funder of brain tumor research in the country, the federal government, has the funding it needs to support the promising research happening in labs across the U.S. They are also working to ensure that patients with a brain tumor have affordable access to life-saving treatments.
Public policy decisions are made every day that impact the lives of patients with a brain tumor, caregivers, family, and friends. For example, the federal government makes decisions based on public input on how much is invested in biomedical research grants, including those studying brain tumors. The federal government also makes decisions about what services Medicare will pay for and how long it will take for brain tumor treatments to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
Public policy decisions are directly tied to finding new therapies for brain tumors and improving the lives of patients with a brain tumor. Our community must be informed, involved, and indeed vocal about public policy.
Advocacy is a great way to meet others that want to fight back against brain tumors.
As constituents of elected officials, our voices count.