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Taking the fight against cancer to Washington, D.C.

American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network volunteers met with legislators in Washington DC Sept. 10, 2013. L-R: Rick Ngo, MD; Tina Atchison, Dr. Lewis Foxhall, MDACC; and Mary Ann Dolezal.

Last month, more than 600 American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) volunteers and staff from across the country traveled to Washington, D.C. to represent cancer patients and survivors, calling on Congress to make cancer a national priority. Volunteers asked lawmakers in our nation’s capital to protect funding for cancer research and prevention programs, co-sponsor legislation to improve patient quality of life, and support a 94-cent increase to the federal tobacco tax.

Mary Ann Dolezal from Sugar Land represented Congressional District 22.  “More than ever, the ability to influence public policy is critical to saving more lives from cancer,” says Dolezal. Meeting with Congressman Pete Olson as well as Senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz, Dolezal and her team asked Congress to put partisanship aside on behalf of the nearly 14 million cancer survivors in the United States and more than 1.6 million people in America who are estimated to be diagnosed this year.  Dolezal stated, “Having lost family and friends to cancer and supporting those currently going through treatment, it is important that our legislators hear from their constituents.”

ACS CAN volunteers let lawmakers know that volunteers from every state across the country are counting on them to take a stand and not let another year pass – a year when 570,000 people in America will die from cancer – by supporting what works and funding research that can help finish the fight.

Dolezal would like to thank everyone who contributed to the Lights of Hope fundraiser to honor or remember loved ones touched by cancer. There were over 15,000 luminaries set out around the reflecting pool at the U.S. Capitol, a very moving experience.

To help make cancer a top national priority, go to  This organization works to save more lives from cancer through involvement, influence, and impact.

Contact Mary Ann Dolezal at to learn more about taking a stand against cancer.

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