WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representatives Brian Mast (FL-21) and Jan Schakowsky (IL-09) today introduced a resolution to designate July 19, 2023 as “Glioblastoma Awareness Day.” Glioblastoma is the most aggressive, difficult to treat, and fatal brain tumor that results in the death of more than 10,000 Americans every year.

“Every year, tens of thousands of families across the United States are forced to watch their loved ones struggle and - in too many cases - pass away because of how little we know about this disease,” Rep. Mast said.  “This resolution is about raising awareness of glioblastoma in hopes we can get closer to finding new ways to treat these tumors and, ultimately, find a cure for the many, many families in our community who are all too familiar with this disease."

Glioblastoma has been particularly prevalent in St. Lucie County, Fla. with more than 50 reported cases in the last 9 years.  In 2019, glioblastoma took the life of 35-year-old-resident Mark Cunningham after a 3-year battle with the disease.  Mark’s wife, Stephanie, continues to be an advocate for those directly impacted by glioblastoma across the community.

“The five-year survival rate for glioblastoma, a very aggressive and fatal brain cancer, is only 6.9 percent.  One of my very dearest friends died from glioblastoma about a year ago and I saw the suffering that he endured.  Tragically, this is a cancer for which there are still no early screening or detection methods,” Rep. Jan Schakowsky said.  “The first step to conquering brain tumors is to promote more awareness that can advance a cure.  Our bipartisan and bicameral resolution will increase awareness of this disease and support collaborative research efforts to better understand and treat glioblastoma.  As President Joe Biden says, ‘Let’s end cancer as we know it.’”

"Glioblastoma is a horrible disease that takes the lives of thousands of Americans each year," Rep. Gallagher said "Although no early detection methods exist, breakthroughs in treatments and surgeries – including right here in Northeast Wisconsin – are a cause for hope to the patients and families of those who are living with this disease.  This resolution is no cure, but it's an important bipartisan step in raising awareness and supporting those affected by glioblastoma."

"I am committed to supporting the tens of thousands of Americans diagnosed with glioblastoma every year.  We must continue to invest in brain cancer R&D to eradicate this disease.”  Rep. Auchincloss said.

"National Brain Tumor Society (NBTS) applauds Representatives Mast, Schakowsky, Gallagher, and Auchincloss for joining together to introduce the bipartisan Glioblastoma Awareness Day resolution for the fourth consecutive year in the U.S. House of Representatives,” said David Arons, president and chief executive officer of NBTS.  “Glioblastoma Awareness Day has become an important moment to us and the entire brain tumor community, as we come together each year to highlight the challenges and opportunities for progress against this devastating cancer, while commemorating all of those who have, or are still, facing a glioblastoma diagnosis.  We thank these esteemed sponsors for their commitment and support to help conquer and cure glioblastoma, once and for all."

Rep. Mast has been an advocate for glioblastoma research since coming to Congress.  In August 2018, Rep. Mast demanded answers to help explain the prevalence of glioblastoma in St. Lucie County from the Department of Health and Human Services.  In 2019, he helped secure more than $48 million in funding from the National Institutes of Health for neuroscience research.  This resolution builds on these efforts by encouraging public awareness, supporting efforts to develop better treatments and honoring those who were impacted by glioblastoma.

This bipartisan legislation is cosponsored by Representatives Jan Schakowsky (IL-09) Mike Gallagher (WI-08) and Jake Auchincloss (MA-04).  The companion bill in the United States Senate is led by Senator Lindsey Graham (SC) and Senator Kyrsten Sinema (AZ).

The full text of the resolution can be viewed here.