MEMPHIS, Tenn. — More than 600 cancer patients, survivors and advocates will descend on Capitol Hill to meet with members of Congress on Tuesday, pushing lawmakers to make the fight against cancer a national priority.
One of them is Brittney Block, a cancer survivor from Memphis, who will be talking with lawmakers. She was diagnosed with cancer in 2016 at 26 years old.
“As you can imagine, my life completely got upended at that point in time, and I felt the need to give back,” she said. “That’s why so many of us are here, from every state in the U.S. We’re here to fight back against cancer and speak with our lawmakers about policy that can bring cancer to an end one day.”
During the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network Leadership Summit and Lobby Day, Block will be talking with Tennessee lawmakers Marsha Blackburn, Bill Hagerty and Steve Cohen.
Block said the two biggest priorities this year are increasing funding for cancer research, and improving access for early detection cancer tests.
As a Memphian from a city that is predominantly Black and underserved, she says health equity in also an important topic for her.
Block will ask lawmakers to support a bill which would waive out-of-pocket costs for individuals with the highest risk of prostate cancer, including Black men and those with a family history of the disease.
Cancer kills roughly 1,670 people a day in the U.S., the organization says.