December of 2008 the four consumer reviewers (prostate cancer patients that
sit on the CDMRP grant-making board) undertook a project to better understand
the prostate cancer community and its response to the stagnant funding of the
program. After extensive research the consumer reviewers were convinced of the
need for a community-wide approach to solving the prostate cancer research
funding crisis. At the start of 2009, Alvin Chin from the Virginia Prostate
Cancer Coalition and one of the reviewers mentioned above began a concerted
effort to engage the entire prostate cancer community and the effort has grown
to involve more than a dozen national and state organizations.
What can I do to help?
There are a number of ways that you can support the men of Virginia and this
1. Send an email or a letter to your Senators and federal representative. We
give you sample language that you can add a personal message to or that you can
send as is.
3. You can spread the word by sending emails to friends, updating your
profile on social networks and more.
Below is the message that Dick Gillespie, Chairman of the Virginia Prostate
Cancer Coalition has been sending to his friends that you can use a model.
“My name is Dick Gillespie and we need your help.
Right now, all members from various prostate cancer advocacy groups are being
asked to contact their local legislators. The Virginia Prostate Cancer
Coalition is participating with more than a dozen national and state
organizations to engage men and women to get involved as citizens to educate
their legislators about the need for additional funding in DoD’s FY 2010 CDMRP
prostate cancer research program We have some 50 volunteers in our Virginia
Prostate Cancer Coalition who are writing their legislators, asking them to sign
onto “Dear Colleague” letter that is or will shortly be circulating to
increasing funding to $125 million for DOD’s FY 2010 Prostate cancer research
program. We want to get the maximum number of supporters possible. We need your
We also ask that volunteers try and visit each congressman’s local office
while legislators are home for the presidential long weekend (Feb 16-20) or
during the Spring Break recess April 6 – April 17. A visit is the most effective way to get the information into the legislator’s office.
Pass on this information to your friends, family, and people on your email lists and ask them to get involved. The breast cancer community can get
thousands of people to write, call or visit their legislators when there is an important issue. Let’s show our legislators that we care just as much.
Our VPCC website(www.vapcacoalition.org)
and the website of the coalition of prostate cancer group (www.fundresearchnow.org)
will help you with information that will help make getting involved easy. An email will only take a few minutes to send”.
Below is a sample letter you can use:
Please support $125 million for FY 2010 for the Prostate Cancer Research Program
(PCRP) of the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program at the
Department of Defense. This program is crucial for winning the battle against
this devastating disease that is affecting American men and their families. You
can join the fight against prostate cancer by signing a Dear Colleague letter to
the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee that is circulating now.
In 2008, more than 28,000 American men died from prostate cancer—that’s one
death every 18 minutes. In fact, it’s the leading cause of cancer among men: a
non-smoking man is more likely to develop prostate cancer than he is to develop
colon, bladder, melanoma, lymphoma and kidney cancer combined.
(Add a statement about your personal interest in prostate cancer and why you
In an economy where poor business decisions have cost taxpayers billions of
dollars, a program at the Department of Defense is giving hope to the millions
of men suffering with prostate cancer. The Congressionally Directed Medical
Research Program (CDMRP) for prostate cancer is on the cutting-edge of research.
Congress needs to reward efficiency, effectiveness, innovation and
accountability with the full funding needed by this CDMRP program.
I believe that your commitment to increasing prostate cancer research funding
will help lead to treatment breakthroughs and, ultimately, a cure.
I appreciate your attention to my request and thank you in advance for your
support. I look forward to hearing back from you regarding your efforts to
support the battle against cancer.
For addition information that may help you understand better the funding needs at the Department of Defense CDMRP program go to the FAQ’s page.