Senators introduce bill to continue to fight childhood cancer through research

FILE - Gold Ribbon
FILE - Gold Ribbon(MGN)
Published: May. 17, 2023 at 12:14 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Senator Moran has joined two other legislators from Virginia to help introduce legislation to continue to fight childhood cancer.

U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) says that he joined Sens. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Mark R. Warner (D-Va.) on Wednesday, May 17, to introduce the Gabriella Miller Kids First Research Act 2.0. The bill would redirect penalties from pharmaceutical, cosmetic, supplement and medical device company settlements to the National Institutes of Health’s Gabriella Miller Kids First Pediatric Research Program.

“Cancer is the leading cause of death by disease among children, and we must better understand this horrific disease,” Moran said. “By directing new resources to NIH to research cures and treatments for cancer in children, we can help save lives and honor the memory of Gabriella Miller.”

The Senators noted that the bill is named in honor of Gabriella Miller, a Leesburg, Va., resident who died from a rare brain cancer at the age of 10. She was an activist and worked to raise support for research into childhood diseases like cancer until she died in Oct. 2013.

“Gabriella Miller was a Virginian and a passionate activist, and it’s my mission to honor her by working to make sure pediatric disease research is a priority in Congress,” Kaine said. “I’m proud to join together with colleagues from both sides of the aisle in introducing this legislation, which would provide a crucial source of funding for the pediatric cancer and disease research that can support treatments and save lives in the years to come.”

In 2014, Kaine honored Miller as he championed the Gabriella Miller Kids First Research Act to establish a 10-year pediatric research initiative at the NIH and authorized $12.6 million each fiscal year through 2023 for pediatric disease research. Since the bill was signed,d $126 million has been directed to pediatric cancer research through the program.

“I can think of no better way to honor the memory of Gabriella and other children who have lost their lives to rare pediatric cancers than by passing this legislation, which would provide crucial, sustainable funding for research to advance lifesaving treatments,” Werner noted.

While cancer is the leading cause of death by disease among children past infancy, the Senators said childhood cancer and other rare pediatric diseases are still poorly understood. The National Cancer Institute has estimated that 9,910 children under the age of 14 will be diagnosed with cancer and about 1,040 will die of the disease in the U.S. in 2023.

To read the full text of the bill, click HERE.