Bucco / Sweeney legislation to fund advances in pediatric cancer research
TRENTON – Legislation sponsored by Senator Anthony M. Bucco and Senate President Stephen Sweeney to fund pediatric cancer research in New Jersey has been put forward by the Senate committee on health.
“As a childhood cancer survivor, I know there are few things that can make a child feel so scared or parents feel so helpless,” said Senator Bucco (R-25). “I am grateful every day that I was one of the lucky ones to survive. With better funded research, we can improve treatments and survival rates to ensure that happiness is no longer a factor in deciding which children with cancer have the opportunity to grow up and live full lives. “
The bill, S-3724, allocates $ 5 million to the New Jersey Pediatric Cancer Fund. The fund will be established through separate legislation, S-1431, which is expected to be promoted simultaneously.
“The loss of a young life to cancer is heartbreaking, especially for families,” said Senator Sweeney (D-3). “Medical science has made great strides in finding ways to screen, prevent and treat cancer and New Jersey has some of the best research and treatment facilities in the country. Continued support for childhood cancer research is a top priority so that we can continue to make progress in reducing the incidence of cancer and finding ways to treat children so that they can overcome it and become cancer free. “
If both bills are approved, the newly created fund would be administered by the New Jersey State Commission on Cancer Research. The committee would be responsible for seeking, assessing and approving applications from eligible research institutions for grants from the Fund to conduct research related to the causes, prevention, education, screening, treatment and cure of childhood cancers.
This year, approximately 10,500 new cancer cases will be diagnosed in the United States in children from birth to 14 years of age. Unfortunately, an estimated 1,190 children will die from the disease.
Although childhood cancer survival rates have improved significantly over the past 50 years, cancer remains the leading cause of death from childhood illness.
“On Pediatric Cancer Awareness Day in February, I had the honor to join a group of lawmakers to hear the story of a brave little girl, Grace Eline, who fought and happily recovered from a brain tumor,” added Bucco. “While we want more success stories like Grace, we don’t want kids to have to go through the process in the first place. More research is needed to help us prevent childhood cancers before they occur and to make treatments easier and more successful when needed. “
Grace and her mother testified today in support of the legislation at today’s health committee meeting.
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