McCaul receives award for childhood cancer efforts
U.S. Congressman Michael McCaul has received the National Distinguished Advocacy Award from the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network.
The award, presented annually to select lawmakers who demonstrate leadership in cancer-related public policy advocacy and whose actions have impacted cancer policy on a national or international scale, was presented to McCaul in recognition of his work to combat childhood cancer.
Most recently, McCaul helped to introduce the 2018 Childhood Cancer Survivorship, Treatment, Access and Research (STAR) Act, the most comprehensive childhood cancer bill passed by Congress that aims to increase NIH funds for childhood cancer research.
Previous efforts include founding the Congressional Childhood Cancer Caucus in 2009 and passing several other bills. These include the 2011 McCaul-Butterfield Creating Hope Act, which established market incentives to pharmaceutical companies to develop new drugs for children with cancer; the 2017 Research to Accelerate Cures and Equity (RACE) for Children Act that allows adult cancer treatments to be studied for use in children; and the Andrea Sloan CURE Act, included in the 2016 21st Century Cures Act, that made reforms to the FDA’s expanded access (“compassionate use”) program.
“I feel that we are protecting children from the number one threat to them,” McCaul told The Banner-Press. “It’s very rare that you can pass a bill in Congress that has that kind of impact, where you can see a child alive today because you passed a bill,” he said, adding that he wants his work to give a voice to children affected by cancer.
McCaul also recognized the role that Tim and Donna Culliver played in inspiring his cancer relief efforts.
The Cullivers, founders of the local childhood cancer support group Adam’s Angels Ministires, visited McCaul in Washington, D.C. 15 years ago to tell him their story and invite him to CureFest, a national annual childhood cancer event.
“And I knew that would be something I would be passionate about, to help those children,” said McCaul. “So it really kind’ve came out of Brenham.”
McCaul also received a CureFest Award last year for his annual Childhood Cancer Summit, held in September during Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.