Source: Suburban Trends -
The governing body’s request to have pediatric cancer research donations collected through the state’s income-tax returns has received some influential support.
“The incidence of pediatric cancer is ever increasing, and its impact on society and the families of those affected, devastating. Yet surprisingly little progress is being made toward uncovering the causes of childhood cancer and finding new and targeted therapies,” Bill 4491 states.On Nov. 25, Assemblywoman BettyLou DeCroce (R-Essex, Morris, Passaic) introduced state Assembly Bill 4491. Mirroring a resolution adopted by the West Milford Township Council in September, the bill calls for the establishment of a New Jersey Pediatric Cancer Research Fund to collect funds for childhood cancer research via the state’s NJ-1040 income-tax return form.
“Cancer is the leading cause of death by disease in children under the age of 15 in the United States, and every year, approximately 13,500 children and adolescents under age 20 are diagnosed with cancer. More children lose their battle with cancer each year than to AIDS, asthma, cystic fibrosis, and diabetes combined,” it continues.
“Currently, less than 5 percent of federal funding for cancer research is dedicated specifically to understanding and seeking cures for pediatric cancer, and only two drugs specifically targeting childhood cancer have been approved in the past 20 years,” it says.
During a recent town council meeting, West Milford Mayor Bettina Bieri recognized DeCroce for taking up the cause.
“I’d like to thank Assemblywoman BettyLou DeCroce for supporting our resolution,” Bieri said.
It was Sept. 18 when the council adopted Township Resolution 2013-275, which sought support for adding the option to make a voluntary contributions to pediatric cancer research on the annual tax form filled out by millions of residents. Other specific, cancer-related causes – including lung, breast, and prostate cancer research funds – are options. The money collected is given to the State of New Jersey Commission on Cancer Research, which disperses the funds.
The cause was one the whole governing body collectively rallied around late this summer. It went on to promote September as National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month like never before, with the help of 4-year-old Aaron Newton and his mother Kerrie.
Bill 4491 states that it was drafted in honor of Aaron Newton, a local resident and cancer survivor who was diagnosed with neuroblastoma at less than 2 years of age. The bill lists Aaron Newton’s parents, Kerrie and Scott, as the inspiration for the local campaign to advocate for awareness surrounding childhood cancer.