U.S. Congressman Harold “Hal” Rogers (KY-05) announced today that the House of Representatives has approved $2 million for the University of Kentucky’s Marty Driesler Cancer Project. Rogers secured this funding in H.R. 3326, the Department of Defense Appropriations Bill, which passed the House of Representatives on July 30, 2009 and is awaiting further action by the Senate.
“So many families throughout the Commonwealth are devastated by a loved one stricken with cancer. Now, thanks to advances in modern medicine, early detection can be the key to save those who fall victim to this terrible disease,” said Rogers. “Right here in Kentucky, UK is working with highly skilled medical professionals on the Marty Driesler Cancer Project. Their efforts have paved the way to discover lung cancer at the earliest stages so that even more lives can be saved. I applaud the House for approving this vital funding so that this important work can continue and so these efforts can be expanded to address cancer detection among our current and former soldiers, sailors, and airmen.”
Created in 2004, the Marty Driesler Cancer Project is a lethal cancers early detection and awareness program. The program is named in honor of Congressman Rogers’ former chief of staff, who died in November 2003 after a three-year battle with lung cancer. The University of Kentucky (UK), nationally known for its work and research in the field of cancer detection and treatment, continues to oversee its application at four regional healthcare facilities in Hazard, Somerset, Prestonsburg, and Morehead. These organizations have established robust community research programs, and have successfully recruited individuals who continue to be screened for lung cancer with yearly CT scans. In addition, important samples have been collected, and will serve as a unique resource for researchers who are developing screening blood tests for lung cancer and for epidemiologists studying this dreaded disease.
In the past six years, Rogers has secured $3.75 million for the Marty Driesler Cancer Project. The most recently approved funding is to help continue the current research, as well as expand the focus to include veterans. Specifically, this new funding can provide the Department of Defense (DOD) with health information to identify high risk factors and exposures to cancer in military environments, and provide a model for early cancer detection and screening.
Through his role as a senior member of the Appropriations Committee, Rogers supports important initiatives for the Fifth Congressional District.