Washington, D.C. — Amy Wood, director of the Raymond A. Wood Foundation, joined the Maryland contingency to “Head to the Hill” Tuesday with the National Brain Tumor Society to advocate for legislation to fund brain tumor research. Wood is mother to Alex, a 6-year-old brain tumor survivor and kindergartner at Ocean City Elementary School.
Wood met with Maryland Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen and Congressman Andy Harris to discuss the Childhood Cancer STAR Act of 2017. If passed, this legislation would help stimulate more effective pediatric brain tumor research and lead to better treatments that would extend life and improve patients’ quality of life. Senator Van Hollen is a co-sponsor of the bill.
“Alex is two years cancer-free, yet we deal with the affects of this tumor daily,” says Wood. “This is our chance to tell his story in the hopes that it will help another child that will face a similar battle.”
Last year, brain tumors ranked above Leukemia as the leading cause of cancer death among children ages 0-19. According to the National Brain Tumor Society, as many as two-thirds of childhood cancer survivors suffer from late effects from the disease or its treatment including secondary cancers and organ damage. The STAR Act would enhance research on these effects, improve collaboration among providers and establish a new pilot program to begin to explore innovative models of care for childhood cancer survivors.
The Wood family, Shawn, Amy and Alex, incorporated the Raymond A. Wood Foundation (RAWF) in late 2016. RAWF is a 501(c)(3) with the mission to specifically to provide quality of life support to pediatric brain tumor survivors.
“We have seen the challenges that these young survivors face after treatment and there is so much work to be done to help them thrive through their lives,” said Wood. “Going to the Hill today was an amazing experience and I feel optimistic that there is hope in the future of pediatric brain tumor treatment and outcomes.”
To support the Childhood Cancer STAR Act, make your voice heard and call your representatives. For more information on how to help childhood brain tumor survivors, visit rawoodfoundation.org.