Vanessa's Story


See how Vanessa advocates, through ACS CAN, for better laws and policies around cancer treatments, insurance, and screening.

ACS CAN Advocacy

Patients' Quality of Life

ACS CAN helps save more lives and reduce health care spending by focusing on the needs of cancer patients and their caregivers during and after treatment.

Access to Health Care

ACS CAN is working to ensure all Americans have access to quality and affordable health insurance and cancer care - from prevention through treatment, and after.

Cancer Prevention

ACS CAN works with local, state, and federal officials to implement laws and increase funding for proven cancer prevention and early detection measures, including breast, cervical, and colorectal cancer screening programs.

Research Funding

ACS CAN advocates for strong and sustained federal and state investments in cancer research, which create scientific breakthroughs that will save more lives.

Tobacco Control

ACS CAN works to pass strong laws that reduce exposure to secondhand smoke, encourage tobacco users to quit, and prevent people from using tobacco in the first place.

Advocacy Accomplishments


In 2017, ACS CAN's comprehensive advocacy efforts resulted in numerous achievements benefiting people with cancer and their families. By fighting cancer through advocacy, ACS CAN is advancing the American Cancer Society's mission of helping to save more lives.

Illustration of a ribbon badge over a city

More than 2.7 million people will be covered by new local smoke-free laws, including restaurants and bars, once all ordinances passed in 2017 are fully implemented.

Illustration of a microscope

Congress approved a $2 billion increase in medical research funding for the National Institutes of Health, including $475 million for the National Cancer Institute.

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More than 650 cancer patients, survivors, caregivers, and staff met with members of Congress and their staff during ACS CAN's National Leadership Summit and Lobby Day.

Illustration of the word HOPE and lumenaria in front of the Lincoln Memorial

25,000 Lights of HOPE illuminated the reflecting pool in the front of the Lincoln Memorial as part of ACS CAN's National Leadership Summit and Lobby Day.

Red map of the United Staes with a person in a circle

68 fundraising events across the country highlighted cancer research, access to care, and the importance of patient quality of life.

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ACS CAN helped secure more than $2.4 billion in appropriations at the state and local level.

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ACS CAN gained more than 35,000 new members.

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Seven states passed ACS CAN's model quality of life legislation, bringing the total to 20.

illustration of a white flag in a red circle

4,000 ACS CAN volunteers and staff attended Day at the Capital events in all 50 states, Guam, and Washington, D.C.

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27 states protected funding for their breast and cervical cancer screening programs.