Remarks as Prepared for Delivery by First Lady Jill Biden at the DC NewsBash
Thank you, Laura. And thank you for all you do, year after year, to make this event a success.
I’m grateful to all of the DC newswomen who have put so much heart and hard work into advocating for cancer patients for 17 years.
You’re not just journalists and survivors and advocates: you’re warriors in the fight against breast cancer! And I know that when you come together for a cause, there’s nothing that can stand in your way.
That’s why I’m so excited that this year’s funds are going to the Howard University Cancer Center’s Patient Navigation Team.
When you receive a cancer diagnosis, everything else seems to fall away. The fear, the confusion, the way your world just stops while everyone else keeps going. It can feel like you’re all alone.
But with a patient navigator by your side, you’re never alone.
Navigators steer patients through the complex and frightening world of cancer: from appointment to appointment, test after test, from their first mammogram to clinical trials to remission.
They meet patients where they are, helping them find transportation and childcare when they need it, ensuring they understand their treatment options and how to manage side effects, regardless of language or background.
And that’s especially important when it comes to the deep disparities that we know exist.
We’ve heard the statistics: life-saving treatments are often out of reach for neighborhoods of color, low-income areas, or rural places where care is difficult to access.
That’s what the Biden Cancer Moonshot is about. We’re bringing people together to build a world where cancer is not a death sentence, no matter your zip code.
Where we help patients and their families navigate this journey. Where we stop cancer before it starts. Where we catch it early and help people live longer, healthier, happier lives.
And I’m working every day to make sure that every family can get the navigators they need. We’re making progress.
Just last week, the US Preventive Services Task Force issued a new draft recommendation that all women should begin screenings for breast cancer at 40, ten years sooner than the previous recommendation.
So many women will be able to catch cancer earlier and start fighting it sooner. In fact, the task force estimates it could mean almost 20 percent more lives saved.
And the National Cancer Institute is launching a first-of-its-kind program to provide patient navigation for families who have children with cancer.
As so many of you already know, this is personal to Joe and me. To all of us.
Because in some way, cancer touches us all.
We can’t afford to wait another minute for better care, better solutions, better treatments.
We have to act now: for every mother who has imagined all of the things she might not be able to teach her daughters.
For every husband who wonders how he will juggle chemotherapy appointments with work and child care.
For every daughter trying to be strong for the parents who could outlive her.
Together, through the Biden Cancer Moonshot, we can end cancer as we know it.
It’s ambitious. But it’s also within our reach.
So, thank you for never giving up on this cause. This is the mission of our lives, and we are proud to stand beside you.