There are so many ways you can help a child with a brain or spinal cord tumor. You can volunteer at a local nonprofit, participate in fundraising events, or donate to Making Headway. But there is another thing you can do that you might not have thought of: advocate for important state and federal legislation that increases investments in research, directly helps families, or helps create a platform for future medical discoveries. Here are some examples:

THE CREDIT FOR CARING ACT (H.R. 3321 / S. 1670) would provide family caregivers with financial relief, and help offset some of the expenses they incur when taking care of a sick child or other family member. Caregivers play a critical role in helping brain tumor patients navigate their health care journey, but often incur significant financial costs as a result. Family caregivers spend, on average, nearly 20% of their total income on caregiving activities. For families whose child is diagnosed with a brain tumor the
costs are even more extreme, given that one parent usually has to quit their job to manage their child’s constant doctor and hospital visits, as well as being a fulltime caregiver. Through this legislation, families would receive a credit of up of to $5,000 to help cover all these costs.

THE GIVE KIDS A CHANCE ACT (H.R. 5416) will give children with cancer the opportunity to receive trials of two or more drugs at the same time. The legislation will  authorize the FDA, at its discretion, to require companies undertaking regulatorily directed pediatric cancer trials to plan combination trials instead of single drug trials, giving kids with relapsed cancer a better chance of success. The Give Kids a Chance Act will also require biotech firms and pharmaceutical companies to pay for their pediatric cancer trials.

THE GABRIELLA MILLER KIDS FIRST RESEARCH ACT 2.0 (H.R. 623 / S.1523) redirects penalties collected from lawbreaking pharmaceutical, cosmetic, supplement, and medical device companies to pediatric and childhood cancer research. The Kids First program supports critical research into pediatric cancer and structural birth defects, and has focused on building a pediatric data resource combining genetic sequencing data with clinical data from multiple pediatric cohorts.