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An Ally Against Pediatric Cancer

Posted May 08 2010 4:36pm

Today was an exciting day in the Bunnyverse.

After traveling all over Bucks County and New Jersey in search of Airsoft gear, we returned drained but happy to town this evening with a last minute trip to the grocery store in mind. I am going to make a Banana Cream Cheesecake for Mothers' Day tomorrow. As we drove south on Main Street, I saw a commotion. I saw a lot of signs resembling the one above, a logo I know very very well.

Congressman Joe Sestak is running for Senate, and it is my strong hope he ousts Arlen Specter (who throughout his career can't seem to decide whether he is a Republican or a Dem, having changed sides more than once when doing so suited his career goals). Specter seems more interested in serving Specter, than in serving America.

Congressman Sestak, on the other hand, is a Veteran (a retired two-star Rear Admiral, no less). He's got a good record on the environment, education, healthcare, reproductive rights, marriage rights, and other issues that are really important to me. He knows national security: He was selected to serve as the first Director of the Navy's anti-terrorism unit after September 11. And he works hard: he was named by House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer as the most productive freshman member of Congress in 2007. But the issue that motivates me most, and on which I am proudest to speak out today (the day before Mother's Day) is pediatric cancer. Joe Sestak is the proud father of a daughter who survived brain cancer, and he is a sponsor of the Pediatric Cancer Caucus . This is the issue that introduced me to him.

So when I saw the commotion today while driving through town, I screamed "PULL OVER!" at my husband. He was confused, but I have to admit he's used to my wild mood changes and sudden changes of direction. Seeing the signs, I hoped there would be someone from Congressman Sestak's campaign that I could speak to, to introduce myself and convey my support. I hoped to get a button, and a bumper sticker, and leave my email address.

Beyond my wildest hope, Congressman Sestak himself came over to talk to me for a few minutes. He listened while I told Vivienne's story, and he shared a little of his daughter's story. With tears in my eyes, I told him how much his support of pediatric cancer research means to me. On behalf of myself, and the Children's Brain Tumor Research Foundation , I thanked him from the bottom of my heart. His compassion was so evident, as was his patience in taking the time to listen to me. I was elated to meet the Congressman, who I follow on Facebook and whose campaign I've watched with interest.

The Pennsylvania primary is May 18, and the polls seem very close. With that in mind, and in speaking for the daughter who SHOULD be here with me on Mother's Day tomorrow, I want to encourage anyone in Pennsylvania who reads this to get out and vote for Congressman Sestak. Because children need an advocate, and he hasn't just promised to be one - he IS one.

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