Oak Park Mall is host to mobile petition for cancer research funding

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 22, 2002

A moving petition asking for federal funding for cancer research is stopping in Austin Monday.

The American Cancer Society has been sending a charter bus wrapped in shrink wrap around the country since March. Cancer surivivors and anyone concerned with cancer research have been signing the shrink wrap to show government officials that they care about cancer research.

"It's really neat because it's a grassroots event," said Gina Dorenbush of the American Cancer Society in Rochester.

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The bus will be in Austin from 3 to 4 p.m. at Oak Park Mall. The bus also will stop in Rochester, Albert Lea, Owatonna and Mankato on Monday.

The bus has traveled almost 23,000 miles and more than 52,000 people already have signed the bus. The bus has been shrink-wrapped four times because of the number of signatures it has accumulated.

The American Cancer Society hopes these signatures will show members of Congress that their constituents care about cancer research, Dorenbush said.

The bus will end its tour Sept. 18 in Washington D.C. for the Celebration on the Hill event where people can voice their concerns about cancer research and funding. During that time more than 3,000 American Cancer Society ambassadors will meet with legislators to discuss federal support for cancer research, including doubling funding for the National Institutes of Health by 2003 and budgeting $5.69 billion for the National Cancer Institute.

Cari Quam can be reached at 434-2235 or by e-mail at :mailto:cari.quam@austindailyherald.com