The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS?CAN) "Cancer Votes" bus tour made a stop at the Tyler County Fairgrounds Wednesday afternoon to encourage Tyler County voters to know where their candidates stand on the issues of cancer research, funding, and affordable health care.
"We're a non-partisan, not-for-profit organization," explained spokesperson Juliana Frederick, herself a cancer survivor.
"We don't endorse any candidate," she added. "Our message is to 'know before you vote' on where your candidate's priorities lie concerning things like access to affordable health care, cancer research funding, protecting our seniors with cancer, and issues of that nature."
"Did you know that over 60 percent of cancer patients are over the age of 65?" said Frederick. "Cancer treatments can be very expensive. Many low-income and middle-class cancer patients have been bankrupted by these medical expenses."
Gerri Agnoli, a ACS?CAN volunteer and cancer survivor, said, "I am a cancer survior and mother of a cancer survivor. My perspective comes from that life experience."
"My story started in 1972, when my mother died from advanced stage ovarian cancer. Since then cancer has been part of my life," Agnoli explained.
"My daughter was diagnosed with early stage melanoma in October of 2005, and has since been diagnosed with breat cancer in 2008,"
"My diagnosis and my daughter's were very difficult for our family, and for our friends," said Agnoli. "We were blessed with incredible support throughout, and I don't know how we would have coped without their incredible strength and stability."
"We were blessed to have excellent cancer care because of the advancement in breat cancer treatment options," said Agnoli. "Through continued cancer funding for research, screening and programs, progress is being made. That's why I believe that we need to fight for continued cancer funding."
While at the fairgrounds, signatures and messages of hope and memorials were inscribed on the van by fairgoers.
"We want to have the whole van covered with messasges by the time we head home," said John Daniel, VP of Government Relations for the organization.
The Cancer Votes van made stops in Morgantown at the Mon Co. Fair, and after visitng in Tyler County the group was en route to Charleston, WV before conctinuing onto the West Virginia State Fair in Lewisburg, where they attended the state fair on Friday.