Today, Congressman Joe Baca (D-Rialto) introduced legislation to bring greater awareness to a devastating form of cancer that impacts children, Rhabdomyosarcoma. The resolution encourages Americans to recognize December 2012 as Claire Frick -- Rhabdomyosarcoma Awareness Month. The awareness month would be named in honor of Claire Frick, a courageous young woman who lost her battle with rhabdomyosarcoma on March 1, 2012.
"I introduced this legislation because many Americans are unaware of the destructive cancer known as rhabdomyosarcoma," said Rep. Baca. "Better awareness of this disease is critical to ensuring more accurate diagnosis and effective treatments. I will continue to work in Congress to provide better funding for research and treatments of rhabomyosarcoma, and all other forms of childhood cancer."
Rhabdomyosarcoma is a disease in which cancerous cells form in the muscle tissue, and is the most common type of sarcoma found in the soft tissues of children. While rhabdomyosarcoma is a rare disease, it accounts for several hundreds of deaths each year. The onset of the disease is most common in children, but adults also have been diagnosed with this type of cancer. Its causes remain unknown.
The resolution and the awareness month it encourages are named in recognition of Claire Frick. Claire was only 16 years old when she was diagnosed with stage 4 alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma. Claire bravely fought the disease for 20 months, all the while continuing to sing in her school choir, participate with speech team debates, travel across the country, and maintain excellent grades which placed her among the top in her class.
"Through her perseverance in the face of such difficult circumstances, Claire Frick serves as a true example of courage and the power of the human spirit," added Rep. Baca. "It is fitting that we recognize this amazing young woman for her grace and strength, as we work to increase research and awareness to eradicate rhabdomyosarcoma and other forms of childhood cancer."
"I hope this legislation raises awareness of rhabdomyosarcoma to all Americans, and in particular the medical profession," concluded Rep. Baca. "We need to ensure our doctors have the best information possible to properly diagnose those individuals who suffer from sarcoma and other types of cancers - so they receive the best care possible."