Moffitt Day 2018
Moffitt Cancer Center President and CEO Alan F. List, M.D. was joined by more than 60 advocates at the Capitol to ask lawmakers to continue their partnership in the fight against cancer. Moffitt was established by the state to provide Floridians with access to world-class cancer care. In order to keep pace with the needs of our state’s aging population and continue to develop new discoveries and treatments for cancer, support from the state legislature is critical.
"Moffitt’s approach to cancer care has always been team-oriented, with everyone working together to provide the best treatment plans and outcomes for our patients," List commented during a news conference in the capitol rotunda. "We consider our Governor and elected officials as part of that extended team. And we are asking for their continued support to help Moffitt realize the lasting scientific advances that are so important to the millions of Floridians battling cancer."
Among them, cancer survivor JuliAnn Finger spoke at the news conference. She was diagnosed with stage 4 Mantle cell lymphoma in 2007. Her local physician told her she had 90 days to live. But instead, she went to Moffitt, where her oncologist offered her "something no one else had – hope." In the nine years since her successful bone marrow transplant at Moffitt, she’s witnessed the birth of six more grandchildren.
Another cancer survivor, Moffitt team member Joshua Rivera, was among 25 bicyclists who rode 315 miles from Tampa to Tallahassee for the 2018 Capitol Ride. Shortly after arriving at the Capitol steps, Rivera spoke with media about why he continues to make the trip to Tallahassee to advocate for Moffitt. “This is my fifth ride, and I still get emotional pulling up to the Capitol steps,” says Rivera. Diagnosed with a form of Ewing sarcoma at age 27, Rivera credits Moffitt’s commitment to clinical research for saving his life.
"Patients seek out Moffitt because we are a leader in cancer care and research. Some of the biggest advances in cancer research and treatment over the last three decades have come from Moffitt faculty and researchers and our efforts have not gone unnoticed,” said List. “Moffitt made national headlines for its contributions to the recent FDA approval of two new cellular immunotherapies, known as CAR T therapy. Our team treated the first adult patient in the clinical trial setting and also the first adult patient following FDA approval. Moffitt is leading the way in this new era of cancer therapy; and we could not be more proud of our team who has worked so hard to set the standard being followed by other cancer treatment centers across the nation."
The announcement on Jan. 17 was part of the 13th annual Moffitt Day, which brings more than 80 volunteers, including patients, caregivers, physicians and researchers to the State Capitol in support of Moffitt. Advocates meet with lawmakers, sharing Moffitt’s mission to eradicate cancer and asking for continued state support for Florida’s premier cancer center.