On Monday, U.S. Rep. Brian Mast, R-Fla., introduced a resolution to designate July 22, 2020 as “Glioblastoma Awareness Day.”
Glioblastoma is the most aggressive, difficult to treat and deadly brain tumor that results in the death of 10,000 Americans every year.
“Glioblastoma is a terrible disease that has impacted the lives of so many in our community. This resolution is about giving hope to every individual who is fighting this disease and honoring the lives of those we’ve lost at its hands,” Mast said. “By raising awareness of this disease, I’m hopeful that we will continue finding new ways to treat this disease and ultimately find a cure.”
Glioblastoma has been particularly prevalent in St. Lucie County, Fla. with more than 50 reported cases in the last 7 years. Most recently, Glioblastoma took the life of 35-year-old-resident Mark Cunningham last November after a three-year battle with the disease. Mark’s wife, Stephanie, continues to be an advocate for those directly impacted by Glioblastoma across the community.
U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., is cosponsoring the resolution.
“Thousands of Americans are diagnosed each year with glioblastoma, including a dear friend of mine. Tragically, this is a brain cancer for which there are no early screening or detection methods,” Schakowsky said. “The first step to conquering brain tumors is to promote more dialogue that can advance a cure. Our bipartisan and bicameral resolution will increase awareness of this disease and support collaborative research efforts to better understand and treat glioblastoma, or GBM.”
Mast has been an advocate for Glioblastoma research since coming to Congress. In August 2018, Mast demanded answers to help explain the prevalence of Glioblastoma in Florida’s 18th District from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Last year, he helped secure more than $48 million in funding from the National Institutes of Health for neuroscience research.
“The devastating nature of a glioblastoma (GBM) diagnosis is still not well understood by much of the American public,” said David Arons, the CEO of the National Brain Tumor Society. “Inaugurated last July following the passage of a Senate Resolution, Glioblastoma Awareness Day provides an opportunity to honor and remember all Americans who have been affected by this disease, raise awareness about the challenges patients and their families face, and take action to defeat this awful cancer. This year, we’re excited and immensely grateful that a number of our champions in the House of Representatives, including Congressman Mast, have stepped forward to make this effort not only bipartisan, but now bicameral in 2020. We urge swift passage of the resolution and look forward to observing the second-annual Glioblastoma Awareness Day with Rep. Mast, and all Americans, on July 22.”
The resolution was sent to the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee on Monday.
Over in the U.S. Senate, U.S. Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-SC, Martha McSally, R-Ariz., Ed Markey, D-Mass., Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., and Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., are championing a similar resolution.