A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to escort a small group of students to Santa Fe, via the RailRunner from Los Lunas to attend the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Action Network day of lobbying at the Roundhouse in Santa Fe. Whew! That was a mouthful, but the day was incredible!
The students that I escorted came from several Los Lunas schools, and have been fundraising with the American Cancer Society for a number of years, as well as attending this day at the Roundhouse in Santa Fe for the last several years. We road the train to Santa Fe, and then walked to the Inn and Spa at Loretto, where we received training on explaining the laws and issues we were arguing for support for. The Inn and Spa at Loretto was kind enough to sponsor our extra yummy lunch!
This year, the Cancer Action Network was working to convince our legislators to support bills that raised taxes on tobacco products, provided funding to Medicaid for medical treatment to assist low-income individuals quit smoking, and to increase funding for support care for those going through cancer treatment. It was a lot to learn about! We even got a crash course on how the State of New Mexico’s government works to pass bills!
As soon as we were done with lunch, we split into much smaller groups and headed over to the Roundhouse to begin speaking with our legislators. My small group of students did ALL the talking to our legislators! I’m telling you, it was amazing to watch these kids work! They were so eloquent and very well spoken! They shared personal stories and helped to educate people that were much older than themselves. It was awesome!
I have to say, the more time I spend volunteering and working with this organization, the more I see where the heart of the organization lies, and it truly is with making people’s lives better, during and after cancer, and even working to help make cancer a thing of the past!