Ed. Note: Champions of Change is a weekly initiative to highlight Americans who are making an impact in their communities and helping our country rise to meet the many challenges of the 21st century.
I volunteer in Nevada for The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN), the advocacy affiliate of the American Cancer Society. I volunteered for the American Cancer Society for 12 years following my breast cancer diagnosis to educate others about the importance of early detection. I wanted to share the hope that the American Cancer Society showed me when I was first diagnosed.
As part of my advocacy work this past year in Nevada, we have met with 46 of our 64 Nevada legislators and advocacy volunteers from all three of Nevada’s Congressional districts meet with their respective lawmakers. These face-to-face meetings are critical to the work we do advocating to increased cancer research funding to find cures and new treatments for breast cancer.
In 1983, I was diagnosed with breast cancer and the treatment was a mastectomy. I survived due to early detection. In 1999, I was diagnosed with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia, for which there is no cure. I have been on a clinical trial for 12 years in an effort to find a cure for myself and others with the same type of cancer. I am alive due to cancer research.
Working with Congress is vital to securing important cancer research funds for the future, so that we can bring hope to all the women and families that are touched by this terrible disease.
Delia Oliveri was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1983 and underwent a mastectomy. She credits early detection with saving her life and volunteered for the American Cancer Society for 12 years following her diagnosis to educate others about the importance of early detection, including serving as the only Spanish speaking volunteer in her area.