LoganSquarist values input from our neighborhood’s amazing residents in our letters-to-the editor series. In this letter, recent Logan Square arrival and cancer advocate Kathleen Mazzei calls on local leaders Iris Martinez, Illinois state senator for the 20th district, and Will Guzzardi, Illinois state representative for the 39th district, to take action on breast and cervical cancer.
Cancer hasn’t stopped. So neither have we. Every year, our coalition of cancer-fighting organizations brings cancer patients, survivors and advocates to the state capitol to let lawmakers know that preventing suffering and death from cancer has to be a priority. Although we could not attend in person this year, my fellow advocates and I held a virtual Illinois Day at the Capitol with the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, Equal Hope, the Illinois Medical Oncology Society and Susan G. Komen Chicago.
As a cancer advocate, it breaks my heart to see women suffer from this terrible disease. That is why I asked our lawmakers to maintain stable funding at $14.5 million for the Illinois Breast and Cervical Cancer Program, which provides access to breast and cervical cancer screenings for uninsured women. This year, 11,560 Illinois women will be diagnosed with breast and cervical cancers. Properly funding this program will help Illinois women when they need it most.
I don’t know a single person who hasn’t been impacted by cancer. While my maternal grandmother lost her struggle with lung cancer over 11 years ago, my auntie is currently a year into remission from ovarian cancer. This disease affects so many and will more than likely affect more of my friends and family members in the future. This is why I ask Sen. Iris Martinez and Rep. Will Guzzardi to support the IBCC program.
We let our lawmakers know that volunteers across the state are counting on them to take a stand against cancer by supporting this vital program. Once everyone is back to work, it is time to finish the fight against this devastating disease.
Photos: Kathleen Mazzei
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