Standing in front of a solemn history of our nation is humbling. There can be nothing casual about walking through the Library of Congress, climbing the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. If there is a Congressperson or leader who can see the site of the Capitol Building without feeling small, no matter how mighty they may be, they have lost a very important sense of perspective.
While visiting Washington D.C. on behalf of Less Cancer, maybe the most striking feeling was that despite the cynicism, division, and apathy, our capitol is still a place where big things can happen. Every single day, there are people working for real change, for real improvement in the lives of Americans of all races, all ages, all genders. What happens here does matter. What they do here does make a difference.
Bill Couzens has brought together those people who understand that cancer prevention reaches more of those Americans than access to care or a cure. These people understand that we can avoid facing the disease by simply taking the common-sense steps that only seem complicated by greed and money. If there are chemicals that harm people, animals, or the environment, they should not be allowed into our rivers, lakes, and streams. If your compound causes cancer, it should not be in the day to day items we give our children and families. No one would ever argue against this until there are enough dollars on the table for them to put aside their humanity.
Tuesday’s National Cancer Prevention Caucus was our first chance to bring together the core group of Less Cancer, including its board and the Less Cancer Bike Ride Committee. It gave us the opportunity to reconnect and put names to email addresses. It also allowed us to hear from one of cancer prevention’s strongest allies, Michigan Representative Debbie Dingell. Dingell took time out her busy State of the Union plans to make her appearance, something we’re especially appreciative of. She reiterated her commitment to PFAS legislation and cancer prevention and applauded the grassroots efforts and funding that sustain the Less Cancer organization.
Less Cancer doesn’t take money from drug companies or industrial firms. They won’t cannibalism their mission and their vision for financial security. They won’t put their dignity and honesty up for grabs, up for purchase to the highest bigger. We can do a lot help, but the biggest and more important thing is to spread the word. Tell a friend. And stay in touch with our local legislators to make sure they understand that their vote and their influence on an issue reaches not just their constituents of today, but the future generations yet to come.
On Wednesday, the National Cancer Prevention Workshop brought together educators, health care professionals, local leaders, and a number of Less Cancer volunteers to discuss successes and needs in the years ahead. Two panels focused on major issues of the day ranging from PFAs legislation to the vaping crisis. For us, the real point of pride was the Healthy Towns panel featuring Traverse City’s successes in health care access, our cancer center, and our community’s efforts to encourage healthy and active lifestyles in kids and families. Our own Tim Pulliam also picked up the Leadership Award for his four-year commitment to the Less Cancer Bike Ride. It’s that event that funds the National Cancer Prevention Workshop and numerous other vital programs in Washington D.C. and in forty countries around the world.
We’re proud to support Less Cancer through the Less Cancer Bike Ride on June 7 and to support legislators like Rep. Debbie Dingell and Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s efforts to protect Michigan’s natural resources, our citizens, and our way of life. Learn more at LessCancer.org.