Fund NIH: Activism through Social Media

One of the great privileges of my work is that I have the opportunity to sit and listen first hand to many brilliant physicians, researchers, and scientists as they share their stories, their work, and their passion for fighting cancer and finding new ways to outsmart this terrible disease.

Recent advancements in cancer research such as immunotherapy have been the result of tireless, dedicated researchers, in particular driven by translational research at the National Institutes of Health.  Sadly, the White House is proposing nearly $1.2B in cuts that would directly stall cancer research, running the risk of leaving breakthrough initiatives like immunotherapy research stuck, unable to move forward.

No for-profit industry participant can make up for a loss in NIH funding.

The devastating impact a loss of inertia will have on scientific breakthrough will not just be felt today, but has wide sweeping catastrophic implications for generations to come.  Our brothers and sisters, our parents, our children, all of us stand to lose from proposed wide sweeping cuts to medical research.

Health, living and medical breakthrough are human issues.  Pointing a finger at the economics of it, the cuts still don’t make sense. (Yes, I do have a degree in economics so, let’s duke it out if you don’t agree.) NIH creates jobs, and in 2015 alone produced over $60.171B in new economic activity, with 17 states seeing over $1B or more in economic gain.  NIH contributes to GDP, it contributes to live saving research, and it contributes to public health for the greater good.

Here’s a few more reasons the proposed NIH cuts are distressing:

  1. NIH is the largest biomedical research center in the world.
  2. The work of 148 Nobel Peace Prize winners has been supported by the NIH. Without this work there would be no MRI, and no understanding of viruses and cancer, HIV would be an immediate death sentence, babies would continue to die from unnecessary infections.
  3. The NIH invests $32.2B annually in medical research for Americans.  No for-profit industry participant can make up for a loss in NIH funding.
  4. All of the incredible reasons found on this long list here. AIDS, cancer, overall life expectancy, infections, diabetes, stroke, the list is long, my friends! Click through and read!

Yesterday at the American Association for Cancer Research meeting in Washington, DC, 20,000 cancer researchers stood together in solidarity and support of funding NIH.

Tuesday, April 4th, 2017, AACR is leading a Thunderclap, which is when thousands of people send out the same social media post at the same time.  It’s a free, easy way to make your voice heard by donating a tweet, a Facebook post, or a Tumblr post to a cause that matters.

Today I’m asking you to JOIN ME, and thousands of other supporters of medical research in AACR’s thunderclap.  Tomorrow is the day.  Sign up here.  When you sign up, a one time social media post will be made for you that says this:
“Tell Congress to provide funding increases for #NIH & #NCI and support lifesaving #CancerResearch. #AACR17″

You can add to it if you want.  Put your own personal message.  But, whatever you do, sign up today.  The deadline is 11:59AM April 4th.

What do you think?  How do you see the NIH cuts impacting our society?  What worries you most? What worries you the least? Will you make your voice heard?  Tell me if you sign up and participate tomorrow- I’d love to see your post!

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