Below is a draft of an email that I sent last night to all 160 State Representatives & 40 State Senators urging them to please co-sponsor House Docket #3914, An Act Establishing a Commission to Study Pancreatic Cancer.
The House Clerk’s Office informed me that we have until Friday, June 12 to get as many co-sponsors as possible. I’ve already been contacted by some legislators, from both parties, expressing their support.
To find out who your legislators are and how to contact them please go to Find A Legislator
PS – Tomorrow, June 6, would have been my dad’s 68th birthday.
I write to ask you to please co-sponsor House Docket #3914, “An Act Establishing a Commission to Study Pancreatic Cancer”. Representative Elizabeth Poirier filed this legislation earlier today at my request.
This legislation is vitally important to help fight pancreatic cancer, a disease that led to the death of my father, Norman Cordeiro of Dartmouth, on March 30, 2014 after a courageous 6-month battle. An average of 2 Massachusetts citizens, or 111 Americans across the country, die daily due to pancreatic cancer. In 2014, approximately 46,420 people were diagnosed with the disease and an estimated 39,590 died in the United States. Pancreatic cancer is the fourth most lethal cancer in the nation and it is estimated to rise to the second most lethal by 2020. Pancreatic cancer is the ninth most diagnosed cancer in women and the eleventh in men. The disease has a five-year relative survival rate of only six percent and seventy-three percent of those diagnosed, like my dad, will die within their first year of diagnosis.
Establishing a commission to study pancreatic cancer is supported by volunteers for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PanCAN) and the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN).
Brock N. Cordeiro
Below is the actual text of House Docket #3914, An Act Establishing a Commission to Study Pancreatic Cancer. It is basically the same text of House Bill 1968 by Rep. Colleen Garry but very slightly edited. That bill sought to establish a committee to study ovarian cancer. The ovarian cancer commission was recently adopted by the House in their Budget for Fiscal Year 2016.
Resolved, that a special commission, to consist of 13 members as follows: the secretary of the executive office of health and human services, or a designee; the commissioner of public health, or a designee; the commissioner of insurance, or a designee; and 10 members who shall be appointed as follows: 3 members appointed by the senate president, 1 of whom shall be the senate chairman of the joint committee on public health, or a designee, 1 of whom shall be a person with Pancreatic Cancer, or a survivor, and 1 of whom is a medical specialist in Pancreatic Cancer; 3 members appointed by the speaker of the house of representatives, 1 of whom shall be the house chairman of the joint committee on public health, or a designee, 1 of whom shall be a person with Pancreatic Cancer, or a survivor, and 1 of whom is a medical specialist in Pancreatic Cancer; and 4 members appointed by the governor, 1 of whom shall be a person with Pancreatic Cancer, or a survivor, 1 of whom is a medical specialist in Pancreatic Cancer, and 2 members of the public with demonstrated expertise in issues relating to the work of the commission, is hereby established for the purpose of making an investigation and study to:
(1) establish a mechanism in order to ascertain the prevalence of Pancreatic Cancer in Massachusetts, and the unmet needs of persons with Pancreatic Cancer and those of their families; collect time of diagnosis statistics and likely risks for Pancreatic Cancer;
(2) study Pancreatic Cancer prevention, screening, education and support programs for Pancreatic Cancer in the Commonwealth;
(3) provide recommendations for additional legislation, support programs and resources necessary to meet the unmet needs of persons with Pancreatic Cancer and their families and how to effectuate an early diagnosis and treatment for Pancreatic Cancer patients.
Vacancies in the membership of the commission shall be filled in the same manner provided for the original appointments.
The commission shall organize within 120 days following the appointment of a majority of its members and shall select a chairperson and vice-chairperson from among the members. The chairperson shall appoint a secretary who need not be a member of the commission.
The public members shall serve without compensation, but shall be reimbursed for necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their duties as provided by section 2A of chapter 4 of the General Laws.
The commission shall be entitled to call to its assistance and avail itself of the services of the employees of any state, county or municipal department, board, bureau, commission or agency as it may require and as may be available to it for its purposes.
The executive office of health and human services shall provide staff support to the commission.
The commission shall report to the general court the results of its investigation and study and its recommendations, if any, together with drafts of legislation necessary to carry its recommendations into effect, by filing the same with the clerk of the senate and the clerk of the House of Representatives on or before December 31, 2016.