Senator Scott Martin (R-13) is reintroducing a bill that would help generate up to $100 million for pediatric cancer research over the next decade.
Martin’s bill would create a tax credit program for companies that donate to one of the four major pediatric cancer research centers: Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Penn State Hershey Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, Abramson Cancer Center – Penn Medicine, and UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.
Only 4 percent of National Cancer Institute research dollars are spent on pediatric cancer.
“There is a large discrepancy in the amount of money that is dedicated to childhood cancers when compared to all other cancers,” Martin said. “This bill would help level the playing field and provide more hope and better outcomes for families who are living through the nightmare of a childhood cancer diagnosis.”
Pediatric cancer is the leading cause of death by disease among children nationwide. On average, 91,250 kids die from pediatric cancer worldwide each year.
A law that Martin authored last year allows Pennsylvanians to voluntarily donate $5 to the Pediatric Cancer Research Fund when electronically renewing a driver’s license, photo identification card or vehicle registration. He also sponsored a resolution approved by the Senate last month designating February 15 as International Childhood Cancer Day in order to boost awareness and offer support to affected families.
“The children who are affected by this disease are literally fighting for their lives,” Martin said. “We need to do everything in our power to stand with these young fighters and let these kids and their families know that they are not in this fight alone.”
On a related note, a benefit is being held on Saturday for the family of 9-year-old Aleksa Carey, who passed away February 15. On March 31, a benefit is being held for 4-year-old Alex Tingley who is battling leukemia.