The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, better known as ACSCAN, is a non-profit membership organization of cancer advocates. The organization was founded twelve years ago. Its mission is to further the mission of the American Cancer Society (ACS) in the legislative arena. Now, more than a decade later, ACSCAN has a primary mission to connect cancer advocates with lawmakers who, together, “CAN” make a difference! The American Cancer Society (ACS) is a 501©3 organization. Donations to ACS are tax deductible. ACS legislative activities are limited. On the other hand, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACSCAN) is a 501©4 non-profit. Donations are not tax deductible. And, ACSCAN has no restrictions on lobbying legislative activities – actually, it is their primary purpose.
Over the past decade, ACSCAN has used its lobbying activities to promote the need for federal legislative support to the cancer community. Thousands of cancer advocates visit Washington, D.C. each year on “ACSCAN Lobby Day.” This year was no different. September 8-11 saw hundreds of advocates visiting Capitol Hill. There was a sea of blue shirts with the ACSCAN logo walking the hallowed halls of Congress as advocates attended meetings with elected officials and/or their staff. Sometimes the advocate was fortunate to also catch their Representative in the hallway for a brief exchange of info and a quick picture.
Every contact with a member of Congress or their staff is important. It is essential to continue to promote what is needed within the cancer community. Keeping Congress informed of these needs is required to insure the legislation is passed to meet the needs of the patients as well as the medical community!
For more information on ACSCAN check the website. To join the fight, become a member and/or make a donation.
Hope to see you on the Hill!
Disclosure: This author is a cancer survivor, a member of ACSCAN and a participant in the annual Lobby Day events.