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Pancreatic Cancer and Betsy Kaplan

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. Mr. Speaker, I rise to support cancer victims and also to honor a valiant leader in our community who turns 86 on August 12--Betsy Kaplan.

I will start by asking all of us to support the patients, the families, and victims of a special type of cancer--pancreatic cancer. Pancreatic cancer is the deadliest of all forms of cancer with a 5-year survival rate of just 6 percent. In 2013 alone, pancreatic cancer will affect 45,000 patients--73 percent of whom will die within 1 year of diagnosis. In my home State of Florida, it is estimated that out of the 3,380 new cases, 2,770 people will die from this terrible disease.

Last year, I was proud to help pass the Recalcitrant Cancer Research Act, a bill designed to turn around these horrible statistics. Mr. Speaker, we must continue to make survival from pancreatic cancer a priority, and I urge my colleagues to stand with us in this fight.

A south Floridian who is involved in many worthwhile causes, whether they are related to improving the lives of others or fighting for better treatment for the disabled, is Betsy Kaplan. Betsy is a retired school board member from Miami-Dade County Public Schools. She served there for 16 years and has been recognized in our community for her notable achievements and contributions fostering arts education and student guidance in our public schools.

With an unprecedented 47 years of professional experience in the education field, Betsy retired with many honors from her teaching career to spearheading the adoption of the tobacco-free schools policy and advocating for educational programs that cater to special needs students.

A decorated award winner, Betsy has received numerous honors ranging from the Florida School Board's President's Award to being recognized as a Woman of Impact by the Community Coalition for Women's History. Most recently, Betsy received the Breaking the Glass Ceiling Award from the Jewish Museum of Florida at Florida International University.

It is thanks to Betsy that the Miami-Dade school district is known as an outstanding model of public arts education in the Nation.

As a former Florida certified teacher, I recognize Betsy's commitment to ensuring that our students get the quality education they deserve, and I thank Betsy for her exceptional efforts in creating opportunities for students to learn, to grow, and to succeed in their educational, social, and professional lives.

So congratulations to Betsy Kaplan, and let us all keep up the fight to beat all types of cancer, especially pancreatic cancer.


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