Legislators stand up to cancer
Last week started in unique fashion as the House accepted the “Suits and Sneakers” challenge against cancer. Legislators and staff were asked to wear sneakers to show support for the Suits and Sneakers challenge, a cause that promotes awareness of living a healthy lifestyle. By eating right and regularly exercising, people can drastically reduce their chances of having cancer. I would be lying if I said I did not jump at the opportunity to wear sneakers instead of dress shoes, partly due to comfort, but the more I found out about the cause the more eager I was to show my support.
An estimated one in three cancer deaths are due to factors relating to physical activity and nutrition, including being overweight and obese. For those who do not use tobacco, the best way to decrease the risk of cancer and other chronic diseases is by making health conscious dietary choices, participating in routine physical activity and managing a healthy weight.
It is heartbreaking to think that last year 35,000 Hoosiers had to hear the words “you have cancer” and of those, 13,000 succumbed to the disease, according to the American Cancer Society. To help raise cancer awareness, and support those affected by it, the American Cancer Society and the National Association of Basketball Coaches sponsored the program Suits and Sneakers. Promoting awareness for a healthy lifestyle, including routine physical activity and eating nutritional food, are vital to protect and prevent individuals from having to battle cancer.
So many people in our community have been impacted by cancer on a personal level and initiatives like this help promote ways to fight back against it. We want people that have had cancer, or are currently affected by cancer, to know that we have your back. Visit www.cancer.org for more information on how you can help spread the message and fight back against cancer.
I was blessed to have the chance this week to raise awareness on another disease through a resolution I authored. On Tuesday, House Resolution 17 passed urging Governor Pence to proclaim March as Multiple System Atrophy Awareness Month.
Multiple System Atrophy is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder that affects the autonomic functions of the body. It is caused by the weakening of nerve cells in a part of the brain. The symptoms of this rapidly advancing disease can occur in any combination, from loss of balance and coordination, fainting due to low blood pressure, swallowing difficulties, breathing problems, and rigidity and tremors similar to Parkinson's disease or Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). Currently, there is not a cure for this disorder, but the hope is that if we raise awareness and funds a cure will be found.
Recent research suggests that five people in every 100,000 are affected by the disease. The lives of family and friends are affected when a loved one's independence is slowly taken away as the disease progresses.
To learn more about Multiple System Atrophy Awareness Month please check out www.msaawareness.org.
If you want to raise awareness on something that has affected your life please let me know. I would like nothing more than to help those in our community who are battling life’s toughest tasks.