Greetings District 36! While the Legislature has adjourned for the year, I continue to be busy with meetings and events in the District. In the last few weeks I helped dedicate a bridge replacement program in CusterCounty, celebrated Annevar Days in Ravenna and welcomed over 100 ag educators from across the state for meetings in Gothenburg. However, there were three events that were particularly touching for me: the 2017 Cattlemen’s Ball, Relay for Life in Cozad and a tour of the Fred & PamelaBuffettCancerCenter. Each of these events was an opportunity to see how cancer affects Nebraskans and what we are doing to support those who battle the disease.
We all have family and friends who have been impacted by cancer. The most recent data shows that over 9,300 Nebraskans were diagnosed with an invasive cancer. Cancer was also the leading cause of death in Nebraska for the 5th consecutive year. While it is a terrible disease, I am proud to say that we are making progress. Incidence and death rates are falling nationally as well as in Nebraska. Nebraskans are doing their part to raise awareness about cancer screenings and support funding for research.
In early June, the 20th Annual Cattlemen’s Ball was held at the Lonesome River Ranch near Anselmo. Over the years, this charitable event has raised millions of dollars for important causes in Nebraska. With the support of thousands of Nebraskans, this year’s Ball raised funds for the Fred & PamelaBuffettCancerCenter at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, or UNMC. Susan and I had the opportunity to tour the new CancerCenter with University of Nebraska President Hank Bounds and Chancellor Dr. Jeffrey Gold. This is a world-class facility that offers cutting-edge patient care and research. Susan and I also participated in the Relay for Life in Cozad. We talked with a number of people about remembering, celebrating, and looking to a future without cancer. The funds raised at the Relay help support cancer research, patient care services, education and prevention initiatives at the American Cancer Society.
On Wednesday, June 28, Dr. Gold, chancellor of UNMC, will be in District 36 to share some of the new and exciting initiatives in education and research taking place at UNMC, including the Cancer Center. A Simulation in Motion-Nebraska (SIM-NE) truck will also be on hand. The SIM-NE is a mobile education system which brings state-of-the-art, hands-on training using human patient simulators to pre-hospital and hospital professionals. The event will be held at the NSG Banquet Room, 520 10th Street in Gothenburg, from 4:30 – 6 p.m. I hope to see you there!
Much of our success in the fight against cancer happens because of ordinary people that care. People stepping up by volunteering their time and donating their money. Each one of us can make a difference. I challenge everyone to reach out to friend or family member that is dealing with the disease, volunteer for a cancer event, and if possible make a financial commitment. Do it today!