On March 7-8, 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).
To fill this funding gap, KidneyCAN and other patient advocacy organizations came together to speak with one voice. Our asks of Congress for FY23 are as follows:
- $60 million appropriation for KCRP for Fiscal Year 2023 (FY23) *
- $46.1 billion appropriation for the NIH or maintain FY22 levels
- Subject to final FY22 levels, increase the NIH budget by $3.5 billion for FY23
- $3 billion appropriation for ARPA-H (the Advanced Research Projects Agency – Health) to support creation and/or standup
- Incorporate the patient perspective on legislative policy matters, particularly those that promote clinical trial development, including diversity in enrollment, and accelerate cures
- Support legislative initiatives that contribute to robust, sustainable funding for medical research
*In FY21, the Kidney Cancer Research Program (KCRP) is designated currently under the CDMRP at $50 million.
During our event, a total of 167 patients, family members, friends, doctors, and researchers came together to ask Congress for this funding. KidneyCAN provides training so that all advocates are prepared to speak to members of Congress and their staff.
“This was my first time participating in an advocacy event, and it went great!” said Sarah Tuck of the Kidney Cancer Association.
Liz Leff of the National Kidney Foundation said, “I thought this was fantastic! One of the best initiatives I ever participated in!”
Something that made a big difference this spring was the number of doctors and researchers who lifted their voices with ours. Dr. Boyi Gan, a Professor and Director at MD Anderson Cancer Center, said, “I am proud to be part of the campaign to advocate for kidney cancer research funding.”
“The patient stories were so powerful,” added Jason Muhitch, Assistant Professor of Oncology at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center.
New York Delegation with Senator Gillibrand's Office
North Carolina Advocates with Rep. Price
Our 2022 Asks
Join Us Next Time!
Our spring Advocacy Days event was a success, but we still have work to do! This funding is never guaranteed; in fact, the funding for FY22 was only just passed in the last week. 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 kidney cancer has impacted your life and what research funding means for you.
If you can join us for our next event — District Days in August — complete the form below to be added to our list. We’ll let you know when registration opens and welcome you!
Spring Advocacy Days by the Numbers
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!