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Iowa Coach Fran McCaffery teams up with cancer survivors to call on Congress to protect funding for cancer research and prevention

Coach McCaffery
Coach McCaffery

CEDAR RAPIDS, IOWA – University of Iowa Head Basketball Coach Fran McCaffery put rivalries aside and teamed up with other Division I basketball coaches and Iowa cancer patients and survivors in Washington, D.C., Tuesday to urge Congress to protect federal funding for cancer research and prevention programs.

Joining hundreds of cancer-fighting advocates from the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN), McCaffery spoke at an event with Coach Mitch Henderson from Princeton University, Coach Lon Kruger from the University of Oklahoma and Coach Mike Brey from the University of Notre Dame to emphasize that the federal investment in cancer research, prevention and early detection programs is vitally important to helping people prevent and fight the disease. ACS CAN CEO Gary Reedy and ACS CAN President Chris Hansen also attended the event.

“Cancer is as much a public policy issue as it is a fight in the research lab and doctor’s office,” said Gary Streit, Iowa state lead volunteer for ACS CAN. “With his strong personal connection to cancer, Coach McCaffery and cancer survivors from Iowa helped show Congress that the disease must be a national priority.”

The event was part of the annual ACS CAN Leadership Summit and Lobby Day, which brought more than 750 participants including cancer survivors and volunteers from all 50 states and nearly every congressional district to Washington, D.C., to call on Congress to commit to proven cancer control programs and research that develop better early detection tools and treatments.

“The fight against cancer is personal for me and this is an ongoing fight until we find a cure. It’s important that we unite at events like this to show Congress that protecting federal funding for cancer research needs to be a priority,” said McCaffery. “I am hopeful that the voices of hundreds of cancer patients and survivors will be heard and that Congress will commit to funding cancer control programs and research.”

The coaches are members of Coaches vs. Cancer®, a nationwide collaboration between the American Cancer Society and the National Association of Basketball Coaches. This group of more than 2,000 Division I, II and III college basketball coaches has made the commitment to beat cancer, raising more than $87 million since its inception to fund cancer research.

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