April 08, 2023

Kairol At the Capitol


I am blogging from my parent’s house.  Tonight is Passover in Pittsburgh, a welcome pit stop on my whirlwind book tour, which included not only cancer conferences, book bashes, and benefits for young adult cancer, but also the Capitol.

I slide my book across the desks of Senators and Representatives, saying to their legislative aides: “The survival rates for adolescent and young adult cancer patients have not budged since Nixon declared war on cancer in 1971. We have abysmal access to health insurance and clinical trials. And we’re not gonna take it any more…” (Cue the Twisted Sister.)

I’ll soon debrief you on my extremely successful congressional meetings, nagging you with concrete tasks that you and your family and friends need to take to make legislative change for young adult cancer survivors.

But first, I want you to see that any one of us can try to make a big change. I have no legislative expertise. I’d never before met with congressional staff. Yet I sauntered up to Congress and gave them a polite, constructive piece of my mind. I’m tired of complaining about what is wrong with health care, and I want to fix it. If I can do it….. so can you!


Karate chopping cancer outside of Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson’s office


You can pick your friends, and you can pick your nose, but did you know that at the Capitol you can pick Abe Lincoln’s nose?


Did you know that Senator Kennedy is a huge proponent of funding for research on rare and ultra rare cancers?  Pretty cool.


You don’t need a fancy political science background to take the bull by the horns.


Bulls come in many shapes and sizes.

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  1. Shane Says:
    April 8th, 2009 at 4:16 PM

    Karate chopping cancer outside of Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson’s office…I like that! You rock!

  2. Dana Says:
    April 8th, 2009 at 6:35 PM

    Just when I thought you couldn’t be more incredibly awesome…you have outdone yourself, Miss Cancer Karate Chooper Extraordinaire!!!

    I am beyond proud to have you in my life.

    Thank you for being our voice!


  3. Wendy S. Harpham, MD Says:
    April 8th, 2009 at 8:27 PM

    Democracy in action.
    Thanks for all you are doing.
    With hope, Wendy

  4. Anonymous Says:
    April 8th, 2009 at 8:52 PM

    This is great. I especially like your suggestion that family and friends get involved in pushing for policy changes that will help young adults cancer patients. Between the 1.5 million young adults cancer survivors and their families and friends, that is tons of people that could be flooding their representatives’ offices with calls, letters, and in person meetings demanding action.

  5. Julie Forward Says:
    April 8th, 2009 at 10:27 PM

    Thanks for representing. I like your style a lot.

  6. Mark H. Says:
    April 9th, 2009 at 7:21 AM

    Ok, seriously…you rock!

  7. Robin Says:
    April 9th, 2009 at 10:28 AM

    Awesome job in DC, can’t wait to hear the debriefing! Out of curiosity, are you planning on doing anything book related while you’re here in Pittsburgh?

  8. laurie edwards Says:
    April 9th, 2009 at 1:54 PM

    Great pics!! Excited for you. Look forward to hearing more about it, especially in terms of Kennedy. (I’m a Boston girl.)

  9. jonn1 Says:
    January 3rd, 2011 at 3:16 PM

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