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Congressman and 11-Year-Old Sidekick Taking the Fight Against Childhood Cancer Global

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WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Michael McCaul (R-TX) wants to take the fight against childhood cancer global, believing US support can make a drastic difference in current fatality rates.

McCaul, who lost his best friend to leukemia in grade school, has been determined to help children fighting cancer since he came to Congress. He founded the Childhood Cancer Caucus more than a decade ago. Through the caucus, he's met multiple child cancer survivors like 11-year-old Sadie Keller.

"Instantly we just became like best friends," Sadie told CBN News.

The dynamic duo have worked together for about five years now, and Sadie recently played a key role in getting the STAR Act passed – the most comprehensive childhood cancer legislation to date.
"She's my best lobbyist, I love taking her on the floor," says McCaul. "It really brought the face of the movement, if you will, to life."

"She's a bright light, she took a very bad experience in life and turned it into a positive and that's what I really admire about her so much," continued McCaul.

McCaul founded the Childhood Cancer Caucus to give children like Sadie the visibility they need.

"They didn't have a voice, there's no lobbyists for these children – I wanted to form the childhood cancer caucus to really give them a voice," explained McCaul.

Since it began, the caucus has passed four major pieces of legislation.

"There hadn't been a new drug on the market for childhood cancer since the 1980's when I first came into office – that has changed now," he continued.

Sadie joined Congressman McCaul at the White House recently to see the STAR Act signed into law.

"I can't even describe it, it was just incredible," recalls Sadie. "Meeting the president was one of the most amazing moments of my life. When I saw him signing that bill, I knew it was going to help more kids in the future."

After Trump signed the STAR Act into law, he handed the pen to Sadie, who McCaul affectionately refers to as the bill's unofficial cosponsor.

"Usually the author gets the pen, but he gave her the pen and it was so appropriate and so cute," McCaul told CBN News.

And the two aren't finished yet.

"Sadie and I have big plans, and we're going to take this mission global sort of in a missionary way," explains McCaul.

McCaul says the US has an 80% survival rate for pediatric cancer, but overseas it's a different story.

"If you look at the continent of Africa, 90% of children who get cancer die – so it's a very high mortality rate," he said.

McCaul believes they can use the global infrastructure that was created to fight AIDS and HIV – known as PEPFAR – to bring cancer drugs and treatments into areas without easy access.

"Because the infrastructure is there, and the doctors are there, it's really a training piece. And then getting the drugs into these countries where we think they could be donated," explains McCaul.

McCaul says the Texas Children's Hospital is already doing this in Botswana.

"We're taking that as a pilot program and expanding that to a global sphere," says McCaul. "I met the president of Botswana, he said, 'You saved my generation from extinction with PEPFAR'."

They hope to continue saving lots of lives through the Global Hope Program, which McCaul says there's strong bipartisan support for on the Hill. He will soon present it to the UN.

"It's kind of hard to say no to something that could have this much potential to save lives," continues McCaul.

Sadie will return to the Hill to lobby for the Global Hope Act. Sadie also has the Sadie Keller Foundation, which helps kids fighting cancer through programs that donate gifts to children in the hospital on Christmas and gives gift cards to parents struggling to care for their sick children.


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About The Author


Abigail Robertson serves as the White House Correspondent for CBN News, where she has worked since 2015. As a reporter, Abigail covers stories from a Christian perspective on American politics and the news of the day. Before her role at the White House, Abigail covered Capitol Hill, where she interviewed notable lawmakers such as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and former Speaker of the House Paul Ryan. During her time on the Hill, Abigail loved highlighting how God is moving in the House and Senate by covering different ministries on Capitol Hill and sharing lawmakers’ testimonies and