SACRAMENTO, CA – Senator Susan Rubio (D-Baldwin Park) introduced a bill creating a $50 million grant program to accelerate the research and treatment of childhood cancer.
SB 934 would establish the Childhood Cancer Research Grant Program in California to provide $50 million in funding to qualified research institutions to support research and treatment for children afflicted with cancer and the long-term effects of treatment. The bill would also create the Andrew Hirschman Pediatric Cancer Research Fund for the implementation and administration of this program by a Pediatric Cancer Research Board and require the Board to publish an annual report summarizing the research projects that receive funding.
“Childhood cancer is devastating for any family,” Sen. Rubio said. “Twenty percent of children with cancer in the United States will not survive it. Many of those who do survive will experience serious, sometimes life-threatening health effects from their cancer treatment. In the absence of a federal focus on pediatric cancer, California must step forward as states like Kentucky and New Jersey have done and establish a state pediatric cancer research fund.”
“Cancer is the number one disease-related cause of death for children in America. In spite of that, most cancer research at the national and state level is dedicated to adult cancers,” said Ruth Hoffman, C.E.O. of the American Childhood Cancer Organization. “We are grateful for the collaboration with Senator Susan Rubio to prioritize the inclusion of pediatric cancer research at the state level and in the California state budget.”
“No parent should lose a child to cancer,” said Elke Hirschman, mother of the namesake for the Andrew Hirschman Pediatric Cancer Research Fund in SB 934. “My son Andrew was an active, healthy 17-year-old student-athlete until he was diagnosed in December 2021 with acute myeloid leukemia. He passed away within weeks of his diagnosis. I’m grateful to Senator Rubio for introducing this bill and naming it after Andrew. Hopefully, new cancer research can improve the diagnosis and treatment of children like Andrew.”
Since joining the State Senate, Sen. Rubio has authored several pieces of legislation to help cancer patients, including Senate Concurrent Resolution 11 to establish the Cancer Patients’ Bill of Rights and Senate Bill 310 to create a cancer medication recycling pilot program that provides cancer patients with safe, affordable access to lifesaving medications.
Senator Susan Rubio represents Senate District 22