Last week, State Representative Jeff Keicher (R-Sycamore) took to the floor of the Illinois House of Representatives to present House Resolution 368. HR 368 designates October 13 as Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day in Illinois to coincide with October being nationally recognized as Breast Cancer Awareness Month. While early-stage breast cancer has a strong curability rate, metastatic breast cancer, which occurs when the illness spreads to other parts of the body, has only an average life expectancy of 24 to 36 months.
“Breast cancer is a formidable adversary that affects millions of people a year throughout our state, country, and world,” said Keicher. “Metastatic breast cancer, in particular, presents unique challenges, as it represents the stage of the disease where cancer cells have spread to other parts of the body, often making it more difficult to treat.
“By raising awareness, HR 368 signifies our commitment as a state to promoting continued research in the fight against metastatic breast cancer and, more importantly, to honor the strength and resilience of those who have suffered from this disease.”
While October is well known nationally for raising breast cancer awareness and promoting screening and early detection efforts that save lives, it is the much more invasive metastatic breast cancer that claims the lives of 98 percent of patients who die from the disease. Keicher was inspired to introduce HR 368 to help advance efforts to cure the disease by local Hampshire constituent Lisa Mayer. Mayer has herself been fighting metastatic breast cancer for seven years.
“Thank you to Rep. Jeff Keicher for bringing HR 368 forward in Springfield,” said Mayer. “This resolution brings awareness to metastatic breast cancer and the hope for so many of us with this incurable cancer.”
“Lisa’s journey with metastatic breast cancer has been marked by courage, hope, and unwavering spirit,” said Keicher. “I hope our effort in the Illinois House of Representatives to raise awareness can be a spark of hope to all those battling this disease as they navigate treatments, side effects, and uncertainties.”
Rep. Keicher serves the 70th District, which includes portions of DeKalb, Kane, and McHenry Counties.