U.S. Sen. Mike Enzi and Rep. Liz Cheney, along with Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., led the introduction of the Breast Cancer Research Stamp Reauthorization Act to continue to fund breast cancer research through 2027. U.S. Sen. John Barrasso cosponsored the legislation.
More than twenty years ago, breast cancer surgeon Dr. Ernie Bodai became frustrated at the pace of funding for research after treating thousands of patients with breast cancer. Through lobbying efforts, in partnership with cancer survivors, he was able to convince Congress and the U.S. Postal Service to create the Breast Cancer Research Stamp.
The legislation to create the stamp was passed in 1998, and since then more than 1 billion stamps have been sold in the United States, raising $89 million for breast cancer research. The current authorization of the stamp expires this year, putting current breast cancer research and development at risk.
“Creating the Breast Cancer Research Stamp is one of the truly great things that Congress has done,” Cheney said in a press release. “The opportunity for us to fight a disease that impacts one out of every eight women is the definition of common sense, and we’ve seen how successful this initiative has been since its inception over two decades ago. It’s vitally important that we reauthorize this program and continue to combat the devastating impact that breast cancer has so that we can give more women the chance at longer and healthier lives.”
“As both a doctor and a husband of a breast cancer survivor, I know firsthand how important medical research can be in saving lives,” Barrasso said. “Finding a cure for cancer is one issue that brings both Republicans and Democrats together. We all want to eliminate breast cancer once and for all, and this important program will help bring us one step closer to that goal.”
The stamp was designed by Ethel Kessler, a breast cancer survivor from Bethesda, Maryland, and illustrated by Whitney Sherman of Baltimore, Maryland. It is available through the U.S. Postal Service for 10 cents more than a regular first-class postage, which helps fund breast cancer research.