Childhood Cancer Caucus co-chairs McCaul, Kelly host annual Childhood Cancer Summit

U.S. Reps. Mike Kelly (R-PA) and Michael McCaul (R-TX), co-chairs of the Childhood Cancer Caucus, on Sept. 22 joined their fellow caucus co-chairs to host the 13th Annual Childhood Cancer Summit.

“It was an inspiring and emotional week on Capitol Hill as we gathered with advocates, survivors, and healthcare professionals to raise awareness for childhood cancer,” said Rep. McCaul, a founder of the caucus. “Each year, it is an honor to host the passionate childhood cancer community for the summit and show how Congress is working to help them in their fight.” 

Rep. Kelly said that the main goal each year of the Childhood Cancer Caucus is to raise awareness for the pediatric cancer community. “I believe we accomplished our goal once again,” he said. 

The summit highlighted both the progress made by the caucus and what work lies ahead for Congress to help children battling life-threatening illnesses, added Rep. Kelly.

“I am committed to working with my colleagues on the caucus and here in Congress to provide additional funding so we can end childhood cancer,” he said.

Since its inception, the Childhood Cancer Caucus has had four landmark bills signed into law: the Creating Hope Act, the Race for Children Act, the Childhood Cancer Survivorship, Treatment, Access, and Research (STAR) Act, and the Global Hope Act, according to information provided by the lawmakers.

Most recently, Reps. McCaul and Kelly in April introduced the bipartisan, bicameral Childhood Cancer STAR Reauthorization Act of 2022, H.R. 7630/S. 4120, with U.S. Sens. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) and Jack Reed (D-RI).

If enacted, the bill would reauthorize through fiscal year 2028 and modify pediatric cancer research and related programs, including to expand the collection of and access to relevant biospecimens and to support the transition of pediatric cancer survivors to primary care, according to the congressional record bill summary.

“When this caucus first began, there were only two treatments for pediatric cancer. Now, there are over 20, and funding for research for children with cancer has steadily increased during that time,” said Rep. McCaul. “I am proud to be a voice for children battling this disease, and I won’t stop until we’ve beaten cancer.”

The Democratic co-chairs of the caucus, U.S Reps. Jackie Speier (D-CA) and G.K. Butterfield (D-NC), also attended the summit, as did the incoming co-chairs, U.S. Reps. Kathy Castor (D-FL) and Ami Bera (D-CA).

Summit speakers included childhood cancer survivor Sadie Keller, White House Cancer Moonshot Coordinator Dr. Danielle Carnival, Director of the Office of Cancer Survivorship at the National Cancer Institute Dr. Emily Tonorezos, and President and Co-Founder of The EVAN Foundation Gavin Lindberg.