On September 18th, I joined survivors and doctors from health organizations across the country to storm Capitol Hill as an advocate for National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding. It was a wonderful experience for me personally and while I am on the Board for the American Heart Association in Idaho, I have never had the chance to meet so many survivors from so many different diseases before. We all had one thing in common: we wouldn’t be here without the NIH. It was this message that we took to the hill, and I believe it was this message that got through.
As we all know, the Congressional budget can be a controversial topic. I know our Idaho delegation has been supportive in the past, but with the new realities on the ground, I wasn’t sure. However, I was pleasantly surprised when all the members said they were in full support of restoring NIH funding. It is certainly refreshing when all of our elected officials can get behind an issue that is so important to not only Idaho, but the research community as a whole.
It was incredible to meet these fellow survivors and it was also incredible to hear that we have so much support from our Idaho delegation. I know that my story and the stories from so many Idahoans like mine were extremely influential. I look forward to continuing to supporting our efforts of a common goal again in the future.