House Passes Schakowsky/Roskam Resolution Establishing Brain Tumor Awareness Month
|For Immediate Release:
May 23, 2008
|Contact: Peter Karafotas|
HOUSE PASSES SCHAKOWSKY/ROSKAM RESOLUTION ESTABLISHING BRAIN TUMOR AWARENESS MONTH
Washington, D.C.—The U.S. House of Representatives unanimously approved H. Res. 1124, a resolution introduced by U.S. Representatives Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) and Peter Roskam (R-IL) to establish National Brain Tumor Awareness Month in May. The resolution was inspired by Linda Magiera, the mother of the late Lori Arquilla Andersen, who died of brain cancer at the young age of 35 years. Shortly before the House voted on the resolution, Senator Edward Kennedy was diagnosed with a brain tumor.
“The need for this resolution could not be clearer. Senator Kennedy is one of the more than 190,000 Americans who are diagnosed each year with a brain tumor,” said U.S. Representative Jan Schakowsky (D-IL). “Our resolution, by helping to increase awareness, will improve early detection and support for additional research into brain tumors.”
“I was pleased to join my Illinois Colleague Congresswoman Schakowsky in this important effort to bring attention and renewed commitment to the fight against brain tumors,” said U.S. Representative Peter Roskam (R-IL). “The work Linda Magiera and others are doing to turn tragedy into a blessing for others facing this difficult disease is an inspiration to us all.”
Representatives Schakowsky and Roskam introduced the resolution after Des Plaines native Linda Magiera contacted them to share her daughter’s struggle with brain cancer. After her daughter’s passing, Linda Magiera founded the Lori Arquilla Andersen Foundation (LAAF) in her honor to raise awareness about brain cancer. Lori was diagnosed with stage 4 brain cancer just three months after her wedding and passed away from the disease 22 months later. Lori’s mother and sister came to Capitol Hill in April to participate in a Congressional briefing about brain tumors hosted by Representatives Schakowsky and Roskam.
Each year, more than 190,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with brain tumors, representing the third leading cause of cancer-related death among those aged 20-39. However, because brain tumors are less prevalent than lung, breast or prostate cancer, this horrible disease often does not get the attention and research funding it deserves. Brain tumors can have a devastating impact on the lives of patients and their families because it can change an individual’s personality, their ability to communicate, and their ability to walk or see. Unfortunately, with over 126 different kinds of primary brain tumors, the development of effective treatments is uncommonly complicated. The five-year relative survival rate following diagnosis of a primary malignant brain tumor is about 30 percent. However, the average survival rate for patients diagnosed with aggressive brain tumors is less than 5 percent and most survive for only 6-12 months.