Just a few months after meeting Congressman Michael McCaul, I quickly learned that he is a man of deep character with an unwavering conviction to make right and just decisions. I’ve learned he’s a man of his word and a promise keeper. I’m deeply honored to call him my friend.
Our unlikely friendship started a few months before he hosted the first Congressional Childhood Cancer Caucus. A mutual friend in his district gave him a copy of my son Carson’s book, Carry Me. It’s a personal memoir of his valiant battle with brain cancer, the number one disease killer of our nation’s children.
As a true Texan, McCaul does things big, bold, and with a warm heart. And after reading Carry Me, McCaul invited me into his Washington, D.C. home for the inaugural caucus. His living room was packed with dignitaries, members of congress, senators and leaders in the childhood cancer arena. I shared with them the story of Carson’s valiant fight for life and untimely death.
McCaul has demonstrated steadfast leadership and a relentless commitment to the smallest and most innocent cancer patients among us. Solid evidence of a man of action was proven this month. After years of finesse, the 21st Century Cures Act was passed in Congress and signed by President Obama. The act includes two provisions McCaul spearheaded for the fight against childhood cancer.
One of them provides incentives for the development of new treatments for children with rare pediatric diseases through the reauthorization of The Creating Hope Act. I have had the privilege of working on The Creating Hope Act under his leadership since that inaugural caucus. Due to his bold, humble leadership, children’s lives have been saved not only in his district, not only in the great state of Texas, not only in our nation, but also across the globe.
Another key provision McCaul spearheaded was The Andrea Sloan CURE Act, which will expand patient access to potentially lifesaving treatments through the Food and Drug Administration’s compassionate use process.
Additionally, McCaul introduced The STAR Act which is the most comprehensive childhood cancer bill ever considered before this Congress. If passed, it would allow a better understanding the causes of pediatric cancer and the effects of treatment. The STAR Act would also provide doctors with resources to help identify at-risk children and improve collaboration among providers so doctors are better able to care for survivors.
Bipartisan politics at its purest is summed up in Congressman Michael T. McCaul who is the Chairman of Homeland Security Committee and the leader in the global fight for the smallest and most innocent cancer patients among us. He is a man of his word, a leader, a promise keeper, and my friend.
Carson Leslie Foundation