I am a cancer survivor. I was diagnosed with cancer at age 7 and went through treatment for almost four years. At 7 years old, I didn’t really know what was going on and how serious it was. When I finally went into remission, I realized all the support I had from the nurses and doctors, the community and people around me — and how strong the experience made me.
Unfortunately, my cancer story is not unique. The experience of cancer — of getting a cancer diagnosis, surviving cancer, losing someone to cancer — has touched virtually every family in America. That’s why President Biden re-ignited the Cancer Moonshot and set a new national goal: to cut the death rate from cancer by at least 50% over the next 25 years and improve the experience of people and their families living with and surviving cancer.
I’m proud to be part of the president’s efforts as part of his Cancer Cabinet, a group of leaders from across the federal government collaborating on priority actions to help end cancer as we know it. The department’s initiatives include efforts to protect workers by limiting their exposure to carcinogens or potential carcinogens, and ensuring access to critical benefits, when necessary. We know that access to leave is a critical benefit for workers to receive treatment or provide care. A cancer diagnosis can create financial stress and raise questions for patients and caregivers about how to balance their jobs and health.
This week, as we celebrate a Cancer Moonshot week of action, I’m pleased to share that the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division created some new resources, in addition to existing resources, to help workers living with cancer, their caregivers, and cancer survivors to understand and make use of their rights under the Family and Medical Leave Act. These resources include:
I’m proud to be a cancer survivor and to be part of an administration committed to ending cancer as we know it. Together, we can continue to make progress toward reducing the burden of cancer for everyone.