On August 8-9th, KidneyCAN gathered advocates from all over the United States to ask Congress for robust funding for kidney cancer research through the NIH and CDMRP (Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs). Read on to hear about our goals for this event and how you can help fund lifesaving research by speaking up with us!

Accelerating Cures for Kidney Cancer

Our quest for funding has a singular purpose: to accelerate cures for kidney cancer. We’ve come a long way in the last five years since the advent of the Kidney Cancer Research Program in 2017.

During the ten years prior to KCRP approval (2006-16), kidney cancer was a topic area under the Peer Reviewed Cancer/Medical Research Programs and had a limited number of successful grant applications. With the advent of the KCRP in FY17, the total number of kidney cancer grant applications skyrocketed six-fold in one year over previous submissions, confirming the major need and outpouring of interest in kidney cancer research and underscoring the research community’s commitment to finding a cure for this disease.

Unfortunately, there have been far more meritorious applications for the KCRP than there is funding available. In the four years since the KCRP’s inception, there have been 127 grant awards based on 767 applications (leaving 83.5% of applications without funding).

Our Asks

To fill this funding gap, KidneyCAN and other patient advocacy organizations came together to speak with one voice. These asks have been updated since our spring advocacy event.

Our asks of Congress for FY23 are as follows:

  • Support a $60 million appropriation for KCRP
  • Support $49 billion appropriation for the NIH ($4.1 billion increase over FY22), including a $7.766 billion appropriation for the NCI ($853 million increase over FY22)
  • Support the Connect Act (S. 1512 or H.R. 2903)
  • Support robust, sustainable funding for medical research and incorporate the patient voice on legislative policy matters, particularly those promoting clinical trial development, diversity in enrollment, and accelerating cures.

Showing Up

During our event, 125 patients, family members, friends, doctors, and researchers came together to ask Congress for this funding with 169 scheduled meetings. KidneyCAN provides training so that all advocates feel prepared to speak to members of Congress and their staff about the funding and its impact, as well as the impact of kidney cancer on patients.

Veteran advocate Chuck Stravin, who is living with stage IV kidney cancer, shared a powerful message: “It scares me to think that, when my fight started in 2015, there were ZERO federal dollars [specifically] allocated to fighting a disease that kills 40 people like me each day. We must continue to advocate.”

Our advocacy team continues to grow, particularly in the number of doctors and researchers who are speaking up about the impact of federal funding on their ability to pursue treatments.

Dr. Moshe Ornstein of the Cleveland Clinic met with the offices of Senator Rob Portman, Senator Sherrod Brown, and Representative Shontel Brown of Ohio and thanked them “for listening to our advocacy today to fund the cure for kidney cancer! We’re so grateful for continued support for robust funding for the NIH and CDMRP.”

We accomplish so much when we work together! As Chuck said, “What an amazing group of people. Kidney cancer has no chance when this dream team assembles.”

A heartfelt thanks to the many people in our community who lifted their voices today in support of lifesaving research funding!

Join Us Next Time!

2022 has been a solid year of advocacy so far, but it’s too soon to rest. Our next effort will be a targeted “micro-strike” this fall, where we will meet specifically with the House, Defense Appropriations, and other specific committees and Senate staff to make a final push for this funding.

This funding is never guaranteed; in fact, the funding for FY22 was just passed in late spring of this year. We can only be sure that kidney cancer research funding will remain a Congressional priority if we speak up at every opportunity.

You don’t need any special skills or background to advocate with us. The most powerful thing you can do is tell your story of how kidney cancer has impacted your life and what research funding means for you.

If you want to be part of our team — and we want you! — complete the form below to be added to our list. We’ll let you know when registration opens and welcome you!

District Days by the Numbers

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Join Us!

Being an Advocacy Days delegate is one of the easiest and most impactful things you can to do to increase funding for research. When we work together and speak up, we make a real difference in the lives of kidney cancer patients.

Sign up here to stay in the loop with our Advocacy Events. We’d love to have you for the next one!

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