Advocacy Day will bring together passionate and determined advocates from across the country to speak out on behalf of all people living with a cancer diagnosis on March 4th. One of those advocates is Ben White, an early onset colorectal cancer survivor. He moved all the way from northern California to Washington DC to pursue a career in advocacy and now serves as Coordinator-Development at the Cancer Support Community’s DC headquarters. The day of action provides an opportunity for individuals to meet with their elected officials and staff on Capitol Hill to help ensure that the patient remains as the center of all policies and regulations related to healthcare.
Ben is committed to raising his voice to advocate for positive change. We sat down with him to find out more about his thoughts ahead of Advocacy Day.
Why is it important for you to participate in Advocacy Day?
Cancer robbed me of my health, years of my life and my career. I see my advocacy work as a small way that I can take something back from cancer.
What motivates your advocacy work?
As an early onset colorectal cancer survivor, I am well entrenched in both the AYA and colorectal cancer communities. I have experienced firsthand and continue to see in my communities the challenges that patients and caregivers face. I have watched friends take on debt they know they can’t pay back simply to pay for the treatments that keep them alive and have watched too many friends told they are out of options when treatment fails because we have not made research funding enough of a priority. We deserve better for ourselves and our communities and I am committed to using my voice to advocate for positive change.
What is the message that you want to share with people impacted by a cancer diagnosis?
Your voice matters to your Members of Congress and your advocacy can make a difference in the policies that affect your care.
What is your goal in meeting with your elected officials?
I want to remove the barriers that prevent early detection and prevention for all types of cancer and improve the affordability and accessibility of treatment for those facing a cancer diagnosis.
If you are interested in learning more about how you can participate in Virtual Advocacy Day and other ways to get involved to help raise patients voices, sign up today to be a part of the Grassroots Network!
To find out more about Ben and his commitment to advocacy, read the Advocate Spotlight in which he is featured.