Tampa Bay, Florida -- Breast cancer advocates are calling on President Barack Obama to make ending breast cancer a priority for his administration.
The clock is ticking to reach a deadline to end breast cancer by Jan. 1, 2020. Viva Las Chicas, a Bay area breast cancer charity, is working with the National Breast Cancer Coalition to collect signatures through a petition to present to President Obama on Inauguration Day.
CLICK: Sign the petition
Former President Bill Clinton recently signed on to serve as the campaign's honorary chair.
"We think it's fantastic, because of not just the credibility he brings to it, but the focus and the increased awareness of the need for a change in direction," says Tracy Leduc, advocacy chair of Viva Las Chicas, of Clinton's appointment. "Obviously, he has connections that the rest of us don't have in terms of making this into something that really becomes known, not just in the breast cancer community but throughout the United States and, in fact, worldwide."
Leduc went on to say the Chicas message is simple:
"My message would be that this year 290,000 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed. And that's despite the fact that more than 3 million, sorry, $3 billion has been invested in breast cancer research since 1992 -- and that's unacceptable. That number is unacceptable. The money needs to be more focused, more directed, so that we don't have 290,000 news cases in 2013, 2014 and 2015. And so we're asking not for more dollars, but again, use the existing dollars wisely, use them to prevent new cases of breast cancer and once we accomplish that then those dollars can go some place else."