Dr. Grace L. Butler is professor emeritus at the University of Houston. She is a colorectal cancer survivor who founded Hope Through Grace in 2002. Dr. Butler was recently appointed to serve on the NCI Director's Consumer Liaison Group (DCLG) and also participated in the roundtable discussion with President Bush during his recent visit to NIH.
The roundtable discussion included several topics about advances in cancer treatment and other issues. What aspects of the discussion were of particular interest to you?
What issues did the President seem particularly interested in and what were his
If Memory Serves...
On August 5, 1937, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed legislation that established NCI to support research related to the causes, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer. (Read more)
For more information about the birth of NCI, go to http://www. cancer.gov/aboutnci/ncia.
I sensed compassion from the President as I spoke about my journey and the nonprofit organization I’ve created. My involvement in the cancer community was the result of several meetings I had with health care providers about the issue of what is going to happen for uninsured people in our community. I especially remember asking a group of physicians about what was going to happen to those people: Are they simply going to be left to die? A gastroenterologist gave me a very cogent response and at the end he told me the answer to my question is “Yes.”When I heard that, I felt a lump in my throat. I couldn’t believe this was happening in the United States. The information I gleaned from those meetings was the inspiration for founding Hope Through Grace. I recounted this story to the President. He expressed compassion for what I said and the issues I raised. He is also aware that, although the overall mortality rates for cancer are on the decline, there is a disproportionate incidence of cancer among some minority groups and we need to take assertive measures to eliminate these disparities.