MAY 3, 2012 8:30AM - THE DATE'S BEEN SET!
Next Thursday, I have been invited to testify before the IL General Assembly’s Revenue & Finance Committee in Springfield, at the capital building. I will be introducing and explaining why House Bill 4211, The Childhood Cancer Research Fund, should be added to IL tax forms. This initiative will provide IL tax payers the opportunity to donate $1 or more of their income tax refund to fund pediatric cancer research.
Its primary sponsor, Representative Cynthia Soto (D) 4th District, has tirelessly tracked and promoted this bill. I am so grateful for her passion and dedication to this effort. She sees the need for additional research funding, and has garnered support from several colleagues who’ve signed on as co-sponsors, because they too believe in the substance of our bill.
This weekend, I worked hard drafting my speech. It's a mix of personal experience sprinkled with indisputable facts and figures. I'm happy because I think I found my hook. No, I take that back. I definitely found my hook. I'm confident that it will get, and hopefully keep, my listeners' attention (Speech Writing 101 - something I better know in having my BA and MA in Speech Communication).
As I mentioned in a previous blog, I won’t be testifying alone. Joining me will be the brilliant Sheila Quirke a Cancer Mom, and fellow ChicagoNow blogger, Mary Tyler Mom. She'll be sharing her story about her daughter’s journey. And as our medical expert, Dr. Cunningham, Chief of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at The University of Chicago Comer Children’s Hospital will also testify. I am strengthened by their partnership and attendance.
The toughest part of the process thus far has been the waiting. I'm not good at waiting. Ever since I was a kid, I disliked waiting (Christmas was the worst; my gifts always seemed to taunt me, as they sat there all sparkly and pretty).
Within the last week or two, I've finally come to terms with the fact that this is just how it goes. Admittedly, I have a lot to learn about the political process. Thankfully, learning (and learning quickly) has never intimidated me. As a matter of fact, it's one of the skills honed during Atia's and my cancer journeys.
In the meantime, there's also an update about Sahara's Law (MO HB 1944) launched by Cancer Mom, Amy Aldridge. Her bill, inspired by HB 4211, will provide MO residents with the same state refund donation opportunity. Last week, she got her chance to testified in front of committee. She told them all about her daughter, Sahara, and why her bill was so close to her heart. By all account, her experience went well and the bill is moving forward. Hooray! I'm very proud of my new friend, Amy.
When I sit back and think about all that's transpired over the last year, I'm truly in awe of how fast things can take root and shoot sprouts.
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