St. Baldrick’s Launches Advocacy Effort to Create Change for Kids with Cancer

by St. Baldrick's Foundation
January 13, 2012

The St. Baldrick’s Foundation is proud to announce the creation of the Foundation’s new advocacy effort, Speak Up for Kids’ Cancer, that will inform and engage volunteers in advocating for the public policy issues that affect kids with cancer. The program will provide Foundation volunteers with the support and resources they need to contact members of Congress to express their views on important matters and advocate for childhood cancer issues. The Foundation is also working with its advocacy partners in the childhood cancer community to address ongoing issues.

St. Baldrick’s has engaged veteran advocacy professional, Lisa Parks Price, to lead the charge against childhood cancer on the advocacy front. In Price’s new role as senior director of advocacy and philanthropy, she will spearhead the program’s activities and help the Foundation and its volunteers navigate the public policy landscape. Price has more than 25 years of experience in nonprofit advocacy, including public affairs and community relations efforts for childhood cancers.

“The creation of the St. Baldrick’s advocacy program reflects our commitment to create measureable improvements in the treatment of children with cancer, whether by fundraising and grant making or through legislative action,” says Kathleen Ruddy, executive director of the St. Baldrick’s Foundation. “At present, kids are underrepresented in the cancer community and people often underestimate the power they have in the public policy process. Our hope is that St. Baldrick’s volunteers and donors will become advocates also, urging their elected officials to support pediatric cancer research initiatives.”

Following the 2011 46 Mommas: Shave for the Brave event in Washington, D.C., the St. Baldrick’s Foundation participated in childhood cancer advocacy activities, including a reception to honor the Congressional Childhood Cancer Caucus and the Second Annual Childhood Cancer Summit. The St. Baldrick’s Foundation arranged for the Mommas to meet with members of Congress and staff to discuss childhood cancer issues, including the Creating Hope Act, a bill that encourages the development of new drugs for pediatric cancer and other rare diseases by providing market incentives, in the form of a priority review voucher, to pharmaceutical companies who develop the drugs (no taxpayer funding required). The Mommas also advocated for legislation that would improve the quality of life for survivors of childhood cancer. They encouraged House members to join the Congressional Childhood Cancer Caucus and to support a resolution addressing the psychosocial needs of children with cancer and their families.

“We all share the same goals: to find cures for childhood cancers and make sure that survivors have long and healthy lives. If we work together we can make real progress,” said Price, referring to legislation currently before Congress. “Everyone who cares about childhood cancer has a story to share and an opinion to express – whether your child has cancer or you are a volunteer who participates in an event. The message you share through Speak Up for Kids’ Cancer can bring about positive change and inspire hope.”