Assemblywoman Annie Rabbitt (R,C,I-Greenwood Lake) is pleased to announce passage of her legislation, A.2245, to assist children with cancer by allowing state financing for the construction of a new cancer treatment center in the Town of Goshen. The bill was passed unanimously on June 20, 2011.
“As a parent, I cannot imagine the devastation parents feel when they hear their child has cancer. While any parent would do anything in their means to save the life of their child, we are in some fiscally-restrictive times. By bringing a cancer treatment center to Goshen, families will no longer be forced to travel long distances, leaving their homes and loved ones, in order to obtain the best treatment for their children,” said the assemblywoman.
Assemblywoman Rabbitt’s legislation allows Medical Missions for Children, Inc., a New Jersey-based children’s cancer charity, to build a medical campus in the Town of Goshen, including a Proton Cancer Treatment Center. More specifically, the bill closes a current loophole in state law prevents the charity from being an eligible recipient of state Dormitory Authority financing.
Proton cancer therapy is a form of radiation treatment that has become increasingly more popular with physicians because of the therapy’s ability to more precisely localize radiation when compared to other forms of external beam radiotherapy. Localizing radiation helps reduce the side effects of radiation treatment and improve the quality of life for patients, a particularly important consideration when treating children. Prior to the millennium, just a few proton cancer treatment centers existed in the United States; however, in the last decade, more centers have been built with the help of research institutes, public-private partnerships, and charities, including Medical Missions for Children.
Medical Missions for Children was founded by Frank Brady, who, as a one-year-old child in the 1940s, was confined to isolation with an unidentified terminal infectious disease. His parents were told their son was weeks away from death and there was nothing physicians could do, aside from offering an experimental new drug that had not previously been used in pediatrics. Frank Brady’s parents agreed to the treatment and their son’s life was saved. It was later determined that Frank’s disease was spinal meningitis and the experimental drug that saved his life we now call penicillin.
Since its founding in the late 1990s, Medical Missions for Children has expanded to operate in over 100 countries to offer new and experimental treatments for children with terminal diseases and bring world-class medical care to children across the globe by making use of new technologies, as well as offering support for their families.