From L to R: Champagne Joy, Mira Sorvino, Dana Donofree, Alison Howard, Marie Cascione and Elle Murphy on the Capitol Lawn, representing the 113 lost every day to metastatic breast cancer, at the 2016 Stage IV Stampede Die-In. (photo ©amyleemayer)

METAvivor’s Capitol Hill Day comes just a week after its President lost a dear friend and fellow advocate to the disease

WASHINGTON — Several dozen volunteers, metastatic breast cancer patients and researchers will be participating in METAvivor’s Capitol Hill Day today and tomorrow, Tues., and Weds., April 4 and 5. The event provides an opportunity for individuals to meet with their Senators and Representatives in a grassroots effort to further advocate for advancing medical research and continuing access to healthcare for those affected by metastatic breast cancer.

Among those will be METAvivor President Beth Fairchild. Ms. Fairchild, along with Academy-Award winner Mira Sorvino and #Cancerland founder Champagne Joy, led the Stage IV Stampede this past October which involved a march through Washington D.C., followed by a Die-In on the Capitol lawn and an afternoon of meetings with members of the House and Senate.

Together, they were hoping this week to continue to educate the Hill about the terminal disease and the critical need for continued research and accessible healthcare; healthcare that would be challenged if the ACA were repealed or if the NIH were defunded. But the trio’s reunion was halted a week ago when Ms. Joy died suddenly from complications of metastatic breast cancer.

“Following the sudden death of my lifelong friend and stellar metastatic breast cancer activist Champagne Joy, the need to find a cure for this life-robbing scourge that takes 113 women and men every day couldn’t be more urgent,” Ms. Sorvino says. “Almost everyone has lost someone dear, someone essential to them to stage IV breast cancer. Enough is enough! It is time to end this sickening disregard for our citizens.”

Sadly, in the six months since they marched on the Hill together, little to nothing has changed with regard to research or legislative measures. For Ms. Sorvino and Ms. Fairchild, saying goodbye to their friend, a tireless advocate for METAvivor and metastatic breast cancer, underscored the need to appeal to our nation’s lawmakers.

“Our government needs to take immediate action and put MORE money into funding stage IV research. And, it certainly should not defund the NIH,” Ms. Sorvino continues. “Right To Try laws must be passed to allow patients with a terminal diagnosis to participate in clinical drug trials; these could be life-saving answers to their conditions and their participation should not affect the outcome of the trials. Human lives are more important than the drug industry’s gain. It is time to become a country of compassion and action for others again.”

Michael Singer and Lisa Becker hold pictures of their loved ones (Michael’s sister and Lisa’s husband, Bill) lost to metastatic breast cancer at the 2016 Capitol…

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