We're gearing up for the holidays, but we definitely aren't slowing down. Take a look at our advocacy activity for the last month.  For the late-breaking news, subscribe to our Advocates Facebook group for real-time updates.


Fight Colorectal Cancer Wins Award from the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable
The Fight Colorectal Cancer team attended the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable (NCCRT) annual meeting November 21-22. The Roundtable is made up of over 60 members, which include healthcare professionals, patient advocates, advocacy organizations, researchers and more. At the meeting, there were keynote speakers, including Dr. Koh, the US Assistant Secretary for Health for HHS and different task force meetings where the team collaborated with like-minded organizations. To top it all off, the One Million Strong campaign received the 2013 Blue Star Challenge Award. As you can tell, we were VERY excited.
White House Staffer Survives Stage IV Colon Cancer

In early December, the White House released the survival story of 35-year-old Michael Robertson, deputy assistant to the president and deputy cabinet secretary. The story was released to promote the Affordable Care Act's focus on insurance coverage for those with pre-existing conditions, but we couldn't help zeroing in on the fact that he survived stage IV colon cancer.  For the whole story, read our blog here.

Call-on Congress March 16-18, 2014

If you haven't already, be sure to register for Call-on Congress 2014! We have some incredible speakers lined up that you won't want to miss, not to mention meetings on the Hill and our annual Celebration Dinner. We're in the process of updating our  Call-on Congress webpage, check there for travel information and more.



If you'd like to attend Call-on Congress and need financial assistance,  apply for a scholarship here.

The application deadline is January 6, 2014
and recipients will be announced January 10, 2014. 


The deadline for Call-on Congress registration is Feb. 21, 2014. Click here to register.  



HR1070 Gains Four New CoSigners

While the Fight Colorectal Cancer team was at the 2013 National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable meeting in late November, we received notice that HR 1070 had gained four new cosponsors: Rep. Brian Higgins (D-NY), Rep. David Scott (D-GA), Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN), and Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-IN).  Two of our Atlanta advocates, Gigi Lewis and Tonya Floyd, along with Fight Colorectal Cancer program coordinator Emily White, met with Rep. Scott in August and encouraged him to support the bill-we wish them congratulations on their success!

HR 1801 (Oral Chemo Parity) Gains Attention

Rep. Brian Higgins spoke on HR 1801, the Cancer Drug Coverage Parity Act November 19. This is one of Fight Colorectal Cancer's legislative priorities, which Rep. Higgins introduced earlier this year. There are currently 64 cosponsors-track the bill at and encourage your legislator to sign if he/she hasn't already done so.

Update on Blue Star States Campaign

In case you've missed it, we launched our Blue Star States campaign last month to have all 50 states recognize March 2014 as Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. Our list of states "in progress" or "secured" has reached more than 30. We need your help to reach our goal!


Please submit your proclamation materials to your governor or recruit another champion to help us.


Check and see if your state needs a proclamation here: here. Visit our state proclamation portal for all the tools you'll need-it's easy - go here.


146 House Members ask President Obama for CRC Proclamation

On December 16, Rep. Donald Payne, Jr (D-NJ) and 146 of his colleagues in the U.S. House of Representatives sent a letter to President Obama asking him to designate March 2014 as National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month.


Rep. Payne, Jr. who lost his father, a former congressman, in March 2012 to colorectal cancer, initiated the letter at the request of Fight Colorectal Cancer. A big thank you to the Fight Colorectal Cancer advocates who took the time to ask their representatives to sign the letter.


If your representative signed the letter, take a moment to say thank you by writing a letter, posting to their Facebook page, or by sending a tweet. Members of Congress like to see their actions recognized by their constituents.


Find your representative's contact information by typing "Rep._________" into a search engine online; this will give you a link to his/her official website where you can send an email directly or find the correct mailing address.

Defense Research Okay for Now, But What About 2015? 

Last week, the House and Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittees began to negotiate a FY 2014 Defense spending bill.  While the subcommittees need to identify about $30 billion in defense spending cuts, the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRPs) are likely to survive, but their funding levels could drop.


Fight Colorectal Cancer stepped up its lobbying efforts in November to educate congressional offices about the value of research conducted through the Peer Reviewed Cancer Research Program (PRCRP) and to solidify support for maintaining colorectal cancer as eligible for PRCRP funds. The FY 2014 Senate and House Defense spending bills provide $25 million and $15 million, respectively, for the PRCRP. Those spending differences must be reconciled, but there is no guarantee of the PRCRP getting at least $15 million, which is the FY 2013 pre-sequestration funding level.


While grassroots can do little at this point to affect the final outcome, organizations that support the CDMRPs have already been warned to not take future CDMRP funding for granted. Preservation of funding will require program and disease-specific requests from members of Congress. This means Fight Colorectal Cancer will need to convince as many members of Congress possible to request funding for colorectal cancer research under the PRCRP, especially as other diseases fight for a share of CDMRP funding. Remember, if lawmakers do not hear from their constituents, those letters will never be sent. 

Medicare Makes Coverage Change for FOBT

Under current regulation, Medicare Part B will pay for a screening fecal occult blood test (FOBT) if it is ordered by the beneficiary's attending physician. Effective Jan. 1, 2014, Medicare will provide coverage of an FOBT if an attending physician, physician assistant, nurse practitioner or clinical nurse specialist provides the written order for screening FOBT.


In September, Fight Colorectal Cancer wrote to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) asking for this change in regulation, which was finalized on November 26 with the issuance of the 2014 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule final rule.


Fight Colorectal Cancer also asked CMS to use its administrative authority to waive Medicare beneficiary coinsurance for a screening colonoscopy that involves polyp removal. Unfortunately, CMS did not respond to this request in its final rule. 

Rep. Ryan and Sen. Murray Strike a Budget Deal

On December 10, House and Senate Budget Committee leaders reached a deal on federal discretionary spending levels for FY 2014 and FY 2015. The budget deal would restore about two-thirds of the scheduled sequester cuts in FY 2014, but provides less relief from sequester in FY 2015.


Here's a look at the numbers:


Scheduled Sequestration for Non-Defense Discretionary Programs

FY 2014 - $36.6 billion

FY 2015 - $36.9 billion

Total      = $73.5 billion


Sequestration under the Budget Deal

FY 2014 - $14.2 billion

FY 2015 - $27.5 billion

Total      = $41.7 billion


In summary, the budget deal leaves 57 percent of sequestration in place. While these funding levels will make it impossible to restore funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to pre-sequestration levels, having a budget deal in place for the remainder of FY 2014 and the next fiscal year allows for regular order to be restored to the annual appropriations process.


It is unclear what the deal means for specific funding levels for the NIH or CDC. Negotiations between the Senate and House on the Labor-Health and Human Services-Education spending bill are underway. Congressional leaders are aiming to complete action on all spending bills, which is likely to advance in the form of an omnibus spending package, by January 15, which is when the current continuing resolution expires. The federal government has been operating on a continuing resolution since the end of the October government shutdown.  


Don't Let the Clock Run Down on Making a Tax-Deductible Donation

The year 2014 is approaching. 2014 sign with a clock on a white background This year is quickly winding down and we hope that each of you pass along this message as a challenge to your personal networks and helps us make our end-of-year fundraising and screening awareness goals a reality. 


We're getting close to meeting our goal of providing up to 1,000 FREE colorectal cancer screening kits to Americans in need thanks to our supporters' generosity.


For every $25 donated by generous people like you, Quest Diagnostics supplies one screening kit. In addition to free screening test giveaways for every $25 donated, Fight Colorectal Cancer founder Nancy Roach is matching donations dollar-for-dollar. That means your donation is worth twice as much!


With your support, Fight Colorectal Cancer will be able to expand its campaign in 2014 to secure more government funding for research, raise awareness about the importance of colorectal cancer screenings, provide information and support to newly diagnosed patients, train advocates, and fund promising research directly.


Please - donate today.