Chesco family helps push bill a step closer to grow funding for child cancer research

Antionette Lee
November 21, 2019 - 8:32 am
Kaniewski​ family

Courtesy of Kaniewski​ family

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CHESTER COUNTY, Pa. (KYW Newsradio) — A bill that could bring millions of dollars to help children fighting cancer is one step closer to being signed into law in Pennsylvania.

"It's nice to have some good news," said Rick Kaniewski, whose family has been pushing for the change. "We always wish it would move a little faster."

Kaniewski says it's a group effort, and he credits other families and charities such as Jake's Dragon for helping the bill get passed by the Senate at the state capitol.

"A lot of times, it's the people that have gone through a tragedy of a cancer diagnosis with a child, or somebody that's lost a child, that finds the motivation somehow to continue the fight for their children and in memory of their children," he said.

He knows, because his own family is still reeling from the loss his daughter Maren, who lost her battle with cancer at age 7. 

"There's far too many of us," Kaniewski said.

Related: With help of a senator, family hopes to bring more funding to childhood cancer research

Far too many, and not enough funds, he says. 

"Four percent of the national budget for cancer research goes to children," he said.

That's why he says the progress of the bill is good news. Next, it will head to the House for a vote. 

He says, while the process has required a lot of persistence and patience, "living with losing a child makes everything a little more difficult ... It's wonderful when other people jump in and help."

He also recognizes the payoff.

"If you're willing to be a part of it, a part of a potential solution, good things can happen, and we seem to be on a path to that. But you need to be willing to put yourself out there and raise your hand to help."

He hopes that others will also be empowered to speak with local lawmakers to bring more awareness to the issue.