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By Richard Asinof
PROVIDENCE – The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network presented Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse with its “Congressional Champion of Hope” award on Feb. 25, to commend his work in co-authoring the Recalcitrant Cancer Research Act, which was signed into law on Jan. 2 by President Barack Obama.
The new cancer research law will promote the development of better treatments and potential cures for the deadliest of cancers, such as pancreatic cancer.
The award was presented at a news conference held in the lobby of Hasbro’s Children Hospital by Julie Fleshman, president and CEO of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.
“The adoption of the Recalcitrant Cancer Research Act is a historic victory in the fight against deadly cancers – particularly pancreatic cancer. This milestone would not have been possible without the leadership and dedication of Sen. Whitehouse,” Fleshman said. “We applaud his tremendous effort to get the bill signed into law.”
Also attending were Dr. Timothy J. Babineau, president and CEO of Lifespan, and Dr. William Cioffi, surgeon-in-chief for Rhode Island and The Miriam hospitals.
“All of us at Lifespan extend our thanks to Sen. Whitehouse for his ongoing leadership and commitment to the fight against deadly cancers. This effort will certainly make hope a real possibility for those who are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.”
“Too many Rhode Islanders have lost loved ones to cancers that are hard to detect and resist current treatments,” said Whitehouse, whose mother died of pancreatic cancer. “This bill will focus researchers on these deadly cancers, to help find cures.”