On June 17, 2014, my sister Lisa, my sister-in-law Nina, and I joined Pancreatic Cancer Action Network volunteers from around the country for our annual advocacy day on in D.C. For those of us whose lives have been touched by pancreatic cancer, Advocacy Day is one of the highlights of the year. Volunteers from around the country converge on Capitol Hill to visit our senators and representatives, tell our stories, and ask them to support funding for research toward early detection, better treatments, and, ultimately, a cure. This year, around 450 advocates from all 50 states held more than 300 meetings with legislators on Advocacy Day. At the same time, during our National Call-in, more than 2,300 calls to Congress were made by volunteers from home. And a new addition to our program this year, a briefing hosted by the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network to introduce the new Congressional Caucus on the Deadliest Cancers, drew three times as many congressional staff as we anticipated.
This year's trip was Lisa's fifth Advocacy Day, my fourth, and Nina's second. The weekend before Advocacy Day, the three of us also walked together in PurpleStride D.C., the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network's 5k fundraiser held in cities around the country.