Birmingham cancer survivor pushing for research funding

Published: Sep. 23, 2022 at 9:16 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - A Birmingham woman is pushing for more cancer funding after losing several family members to the disease and even battling it herself.

Kimberly Alexander is one of several Alabamians who gathered at our nation’s capitol this month asking for Congress to make cancer research a priority.

In a press release, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) said on September 13, more than 600 cancer patients, survivors, and their loved ones from all 50 states and nearly every congressional district united in Washington, D.C., as part of the ACS CAN Leadership Summit and Lobby Day (LSLD).

Alexander is a 7-year non-small cell lung cancer survivor and continues treatment even now. She also lost her mom, step-dad, two uncles, and an aunt to cancer, so she knows from much experience how awful the disease is.

The volunteer group was pushing for a few different things including medical research funding, a bill to include more diverse communities in clinical research trials, and a multi-cancer screening bill. She says funding for all of this helps scientists get closer to more breakthroughs.

“Just as a survivor myself, I know how important cancer research is,” she said. “Right now I’m receiving immunotherapy. That’s one of the most recent breakthroughs that have come about in the last few years.”

After meeting with lawmakers in DC, the volunteers honored cancer survivors and people lost to the disease with a Lights of Hope Ceremony. Alexander said as a fundraiser, they decorate bags with names and tea lights inside. While they usually put the bags around the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool, she said there were so many that they had to move the venue to Constitution Gardens.

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