STAR Act Re-Introduced

The Childhood Cancer Survivorship, Treatment, Access, and Research (STAR) Act is arguably the most comprehensive childhood cancer bill ever introduced.  As you may recall, we were thrilled to have 270 co-sponsors in the last House (bi-partisan support!!!) and almost 30 co-sponsors in the Senate.  Unfortunately, while it passed the House in December, we ran out of time in the Senate.  And, if you remember you civics lessons from school, that means that we have to start completely over again with this, the 115th Congress.

Thanks to House co-sponsors Reps. McCaul (R-TX), Kelly (R-PA), Speier (D-CA) and Butterfield (D-NC), H.R. 820 was introduced about 2 weeks ago.  And, in the upper chamber, Sens. Reed (D-RI), Van Hollen (D-MD), Moore Capito (R-WVA), and Isakson (R-GA) introduced the STAR Act in the Senate as S.292.  Now, the fun begins.

I will spare you the various committees that need to weigh in before the respective chambers can vote on this, but suffice it to say that we need you to let your elected federal officials know that you support the STAR Act.  Our particular goal right now is to gain support from Republican Senators. Please consider putting in a call to your congressional delegation (especially if one or both of your Senators are Republicans) to tell them you support the STAR Act.  That’s all.  Thirty seconds…you’re done.  You won’t be grilled on the finer points of the bill.

And, then, when it passes both the House and the Senate (which I am confident it eventually will), it will head to the White House.  Honestly, I don’t think anyone knows yet how this bill will be received there.  We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.

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UDance Less Than a Month Away

The largest event to benefit The Andrew McDonough B+ Foundation, UDance, is only 3 weeks away.  UDance, the 5th largest college dance marathon in the country, will be held at the Bob Carpenter Center on the campus of the University of Delaware on Sun. March 12th from 9am-9pm.  This event is open to the public.  Admission is $10, I believe.  If you’re local, I would encourage you to join us at 4pm for “B+ Hero Hour” when we invited the 50 B+ Heroes, kids with cancer paired with UD groups, up on stage in front of the throng of thousands.  Last year, UDance raised a whopping $1.7MM!  Come out and support the students and the B+ Heroes.

I’d like to thank the University of Delaware Women’s Basketball Team and the UD Div. I men’s ice hockey team for hosting “B+ Night” games over the past 2 weeks.  We appreciate your support in helping to generate awareness of childhood cancer and helping us raise money for UDance and The Andrew McDonough B+ Foundation

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Kids Helping Kids Fight Cancer™

There have been so many school events held and so much planning underway for others. We so greatly appreciate the help of students.

Last night, Fordham University held their Residence Housing Association (RHA) auction to benefit Fordham Dance Marathon (FDM) and The B+ Foundation.  This is an event leading up to FDM on 2/15.  Last night, the auction raised nearly $25k with the top prize – first pick in the dorm lottery – going for an amazing $16,000!

Last Saturday night, 4 local high schools (Wilmington Friends, Tower Hill, Tatnall, Sanford) joined forces for their 4th Annual Quakeover Cancer.  I had the pleasure of attending and introducing 2 B+ Heroes, Lilly Plocharz and Christian Malmgren, who spoke to the students.  When the night was over, the students held up the numbers and proudly announced that they raised over $26k!

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B+ Heroes

Please keep all of our B+ Heroes and their families in your thoughts and prayers. I’d especially ask you to keep Nathan & Rachel close to your heart as they are once again battling cancer and Brianna and Morgan who have recently been diagnosed.   As this week ends, 230 more kids have been diagnosed and 49 families are planning funerals.  #Unacceptable!

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Make it a great weekend.

Live Like Andrew.  B+

Ali & Andrew’s Dad

www.caringbridge.org/visit/andrewmcdonough