OLATHE, Kan. -- She beat cancer, and now an Olathe wife and mother of two is fighting to help others.
Leesa Gabel leaves for Washington, D.C. on Monday. July 7-8 is 'One Voice Against Cancer Lobby Day'. Gabel is representing the LIVESTRONG Foundation and her local district . There she'll lobby lawmakers to support maintained funding of more than $5 billion for cancer research.
In 2008 at the age of 36 Gabel was diagnosed with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia, a treatable but incurable blood cancer. Gabel said she never thought a routine trip to the doctor would end with the word cancer.
"Any time you hear you have cancer you're just like, what?" she said.
Today Gabel is healthy, but said more research is key to others' survival.
"There are hundreds of types of cancer and different degrees of that cancer," she said. "Everyone needs a chance."
Gabel said the money she is fighting for is funding that will impact people right here in the metro. That includes the University of Kansas Hospital, which recently earned National Cancer Institute Designation. It's an honor that entitles it to millions of dollars in research funding.
"This money will go to people here, everyone will benefit from the funding that is set forth by the federal government," she said.
This year Leesa will be asking U.S. Senator for Kansas Pat Roberts, U.S. Senator for Kansas Jerry Moran and Congressman Kevin Yoder who represents the 3rd District of Kansas to support the following budgets for cancer funding and research:
- Provide $5.26 billion for the National Cancer Institute (NCI).
- Ensure that any increase for NCI is proportional to the overall increase for NIH.
- Support a FY 2015 budget for the CDC Division of Cancer Prevention and Control of $510 million.