Dozens of Iowa cancer survivors and supporters will join thousands of activists in Washington D.C. this week for a rally called “Celebration on the Hill.” Joel Greer, an attorney in Marshalltown, says he’s making the journey because cancer has hit so many people around him, he’s driven to speak out.
Greer says “My father’s father, my mother’s mother, a brother-in-law, a sister-in-law, a friend across the street, cancer’s been such a factor for my family and friends, I have the feeling I need to do something more than what I’ve been doing. The trip to Washington D.C. will allow us to address the need for funding.” The rally is Tuesday and Wednesday.
One highlight will be the Wall of Hope, created from banners carrying some three-million supporters’ signatures. It’ll be four blocks long and is expected to be the largest-ever temporary structure built on the capitol grounds. If placed end to end, the banners would stretch nine miles.
Greer says there will be tents from each state for some four-thousand people total and 70 or so from Iowa. He says they’ll meet with their Congressmen and there’ll be a big rally with luminaries and music. In meeting with the lawmakers, Greer says he’s ready for their pat answer that X-millions are already being spent on cancer research and there’s serious competition for dollars for issues ranging from crime to education to the war on terror.
Greer says the congressmen need to be reminded that “Most of us out here in the rural communities, and the major metropolitan communities for that matter, fear cancer as much as we fear anything else and we’re touched by cancer more than the other things that are competing for the research dollar and we just need them to not slip any from the funding they’ve been doing.”
The American Cancer Society says more than 16-thousand Iowans will be diagnosed with cancer this year and 65-hundred will die from it. For more information, surf to “www.cancer.org”.