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Group Kicks Off Cancer Votes Campaign

The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network hopes to make healthcare and cancer prevention a key issue in this year's election season.

About 14 people in Westchester County are diagnosed with cancer every day. A group of cancer survivors gathered on the streets on White Plains Wednesday hoping people will keep them in mind during the coming elections.

Cancer survivors held up blue silhouettes on the steps of the Michaelian Office Building to kickoff the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network's (ACSCAN) Cancer Votes campaign. The movement calls on candidates for elected office to make cancer issues a priority.

Michael Davoli, the campaign's director said government cuts to things like early cancer screenings, tobacco prevention programs and healthcare access should be important to everyone before they take to the voting booths this November.

"We all care about the fight against cancer, but one of the things that many people do not realize is that the fight against cancer needs broader support than just our personal beliefs," Davoli said. "The fight against cancer needs the support of our elected officials."

Other planned events include attending local and state debates as well as sending candidates questions regarding their stance on medical care, medical transparency and cancer screenings.

Gino Bottino, of Northern Westchester Medical Center, said the group's goals are bi-partisan in nature and are aimed at informing the public of the important role government leaders have in cancer prevention.

"What we're trying to say is that people in our country and our state really care about what happens with cancer care, cancer research cancer funding, and we want to see that politicians, all our politicians, just understand that," he said. "This is a main issue in most people's lives."

Doreen Semel, of Chappaqua, said her life would be one of those lost if it wasn't for early screening and quality care. She was among the group holding silhouettes Wednesday.

"I am very lucky I can stand here and speak," she said. "I'm blessed to be here, I was lucky to have great physicians, great support, and I want to ensure others have that."

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