Thursday, September 21, 2006

Last night I sat at the edge of the Capitol reflecting pool with my wife (Cindy), mother (Lucile), and daughter (Trina). Mother and daughter were represented by multiple luminaria in the Oregon section. Candles inside white paper bags several rows deep lined the pool as thousands of cancer victims were remembered as Celebration on the Hill concluded. On the steps across on the Capitol side of the pool, luminaria lit the word HOPE.

Hope stands in contrast to complacency or fatalism. During the day contact was made with each congressional office as ambassadors from every state meet with their senators and congressmen (in some cases a legislative aid). Legislators were asked to support programs for early detection and funding for research. And they were asked to sign the 2015 pledge—a national challenge goal of eliminating suffering and death due to cancer by the year 2015. Cindy and I were part of the group who met with Senator Ron Wyden and Congressman David Wu. Both signed the pledge.

Washington, DC, is not the only place the war has to be fought. Every day 1,500 people die due to cancer. This is a winnable war, but it will take resolve. One of the steps in fighting cancer is to eradicate fatalism and complacency.


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