Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Eliminating the NJ Commission on Cancer Research

I received an e-mail yesterday telling me some disturbing news. On July 1, 2010, the Governor is planning to eliminate the NJ Commission on Cancer Research the only state body that awards cancer research dollars. Their mission is To ensure that the citizens of New Jersey receive the fullest benefit of our nation’s fight against cancer through the promotion and funding of research into the causes, prevention, and treatment of cancer.

Some facts-
  • The NJCCR was founded in 1983.
  • This program has been so successful it was cited by the President's Cancer Advisory Board in 1989 as an ideal model to bring research to communities.
  • In 1995 a law was signed which provided the inclusion of the check off box on the state's income tax form dedicating funding for the Breast Cancer Research Fund
  • In 1999 the NJCCR with dedicated health professionals had reached the first of its kind agreement with health insurers who agreed voluntarily to pay for routine care in all phases of cancer clinical trials.
  • In 2007, an intensive and independent evaluation found that NJCCR funded cancer researchers leveraged over $10 back to NJ laboratories for every $1 awarded, with more than $350 million in research dollars returned to NJ laboratories over the years.
  • In 2009, NJCCR & CINJ co-hosted the NJ Summit on Cancer Survivorship. Participants are in the process of developing a 5 year statewide action plan to enhance survivorship in NJ.
  • NJCCR receives revenue from dedicated funding sources like the Tobacco Tax, voluntary income tax donations and the Conquer Cancer License plates, it performs its mission at no cost to the general taxpayer.

NJCCR has touched my life in a number of ways.After my diagnosis in 2005, I received a copy of the “Resource Book for Cancer Patients in NJ” published by the NJCCR from the Wellness Community. I found support services that I could use and shared information provided in the book with others diagnosed with cancer.I participated in a clinical trial at the Cancer Institute of New Jersey and continue to be treated there. One of my gynecological oncologists, Dr. Lorna Rodriguez has received grants from the NJCCR for ovarian cancer research. And last November, I was a participant in the NJ Summit on Cancer Survivorship. It is essential that the money be restored to NJCCR so that New Jersey’s progress in the war against cancer can continue and the plan developed at the Summit can be implemented.

You can read more about the Commission in their Annual report.

I will send a letter to the Governor to ask him to not eliminate the program. Will you join me?

The governor's address is:

The Honorable Chris Christie

Office of the Governor

P.O. Box 001

Trenton, NJ 08625

Every Day is a Blessing!

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