Milford resident Cindy Canevari will be carrying local Lights of Hope bags to Washington D.C. in September as she accompanies the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) to make cancer a national priority. During the Lights of Hope ceremony, scheduled for Friday, September 10 at the U.S. Capitol Reflecting Pool, ACS CAN representatives from around the nation will place luminary bags in honor of individuals who have lost their lives to cancer or are still battling with the disease. The lights from the bags will shine around the Capitol Reflecting Pool as the organization shows elected officials the solidarity in making cancer a national priority.
Cindy, a survivor of both breast cancer and bladder cancer, has been Delaware’s State Lead Ambassador for three years, challenging state and federal legislators to keep cancer research as a priority. In the state of Delaware, Cindy was active in helping to pass the Oral Chemotherapy Parity Bill which legislates that patients using either a pill or infused form of treatment will pay the lesser use. She is now working to ban tanning bed use in Delaware for any individual under 18, which she hopes will be passed into law next year.
Between September 8-11 Canevari will be taking her concerns to United States Senators and Representatives during the ACS CAN Leadership Summit and Lobby Day. In an effort to keep cancer in the forefront of national debate, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network representatives from all 50 states will be pushing four initiatives on Capitol Hill. In addition to urging Congress not to cut funding for cancer research and screenings for breast, cervical, colon, rectal and prostate cancer, this year’s summit will focus heavily on the Quality of Life campaign which aims to reduce suffering and improve the quality of life of patients undergoing care for serious illnesses. ACS CAN will also push support for legislation that will increase the federal cigarette tax by 94 cents.
The Quality of Life campaign hits home with Cindy as she believes that many cancer patients are uneducated about the healthcare field and unaware of how to coordinate medical services to best serve them. She saw this happen first hand when her Aunt Anna was first diagnosed with Leukemia.
“In addition to Leukemia, Anna was in her late seventies, single, lived alone and had other medical conditions such as diabetes and arthritis,” commented Cindy. “It was very difficult and stressful on her body to be constantly seeing several doctors for medical tests. She was overwhelmed and did not know how to coordinate her care. We used team building to coordinate her appointments and medical tests which improved her quality of life. This was at a small level but the Quality of Life Campaign aims to put team building on a national level.”
The cornerstone of the ACS CAN Leadership Summit will be the Lights of Hope Ceremony on September 10 where Cindy will join representatives from around the nation to honor those affected by cancer. Lights of Hope luminaries, bearing the names of those touched by cancer, will line the Capitol Reflecting Pool that evening in an experience to fight back against cancer at the Nation’s Capitol. Local individuals have the unique opportunity to participate by ordering a Lights of Hope bag to be displayed around the Reflecting Pool in Washington D.C. Cindy will personally carry the bags with the names that local individuals would like to honor at the event. Lights of Hope bags can be purchased by making a $10 donation to ACS CAN. Checks can be mailed to Cindy Canevari, 117 Ginger Lane, Milford, DE 19963 with the inclusion of the name(s) individuals would like on each bag.
“When you see every state represented and you talk with people across the country you realize we are all the same, fighting the same battle,” commented Cindy. “It gives you energy and you come back to the state with a feeling of empowerment to help keep the grassroots effort moving.”