The American Cancer Society (ACS) Cancer Action Network (CAN) celebrated their 10th Birthday last week with a free concert and party at Kaladi Bros. in Soldotna to mark the one decade milestone of fighting cancer on all fronts. According to Kati Rehm, grass roots relationship manager for ACS-CAN, the party also had a purpose, "While many decisions in fighting cancer are made in doctors offices, some of the most important decisions are also made in the offices of the legislators, so with the Cancer Action Network, we are the non-profit, non-partisan political affiliate of the American Cancer Society and we'll be traveling to Washington D.C. with local volunteers from the Peninsula, like Susan Smalley to ask members of congress to pay attention to cancer research to insure that cancer survivors needs are first and foremost in their decision making and funding," said Rehm.
Rehm says that the federal government is the number one source for funding cancer research, "That's why the ACS lobbies the federal government every day to make sure that the funding is maintained. Its remarkable new advances are coming out every single day and it is really exciting to be part of the process to insure that we continue making advancements toward finding a cure for cancer and be able to prevent it. We already know that one third of all cancer is caused by tobacco and one third due to diet so we are already know that two thirds of all cancers are preventable," she said. Everyone attending the CAN birthday party was invited to sign a banner which will be presented to Alaska's congressional delegation in Washington D.C. next week, when local CAN representatives from all 50 states will gather along with ACS lobbyists to share their interests with congress.
Jenny Olendorff of the Peninsula Smoke Free Partnership was at the celebration and commented, "We are all about prevention because we now know that good, strong policies reduce tobacco use and prevent youth from ever starting to use tobacco. The Alaska Tobacco Control Alliance (ATCA) is working towards comprehensive smoke free workplace policies that cover all workers across the state of Alaska to protect people from second hand smoke." Anyone interested in becoming involved in the efforts of the Peninsula Smoke Free Partnership can contact PSFP in Soldotna in the Bridges offices on the Sterling highway or go to www.alaskatca.org where you can learn more about ATCA's vision for a tobacco-free Alaska.