Department of Defense                 Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program


Update as of June 1, 2017:

Rally extends a heartfelt thanks to the U.S. Congress and President Trump for approving the FY2017 DoD budget that includes report language for adolescents, young adults and children in the CDMRP’s $60M Peer Reviewed Cancer Research Program. We appreciate all of the congressmen, senators, and advocates for AYAs and kids fighting cancer, who helped us make this possible!

You can join the Rally and sign on in support of our FY2018 DoD CDMRP request now.

Sign on Today


Less than 4% of the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) budget goes to fund childhood cancer research. Dean Crowe, Rally’s CEO and founder, attended a roundtable discussion on how the childhood cancer community can work together to increase federal funding and get access to more drugs for kids battling cancer. The Department of Defense (DoD) was identified as an area within the federal government where additional funding could be found to help advance research.

Rally took the lead on advocating for funding from the DoD’s Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP). Through the CDMRP, the DoD has a $1 billion medical research budget. Dean wrote a white paper making a strong case that research for cancers affecting adolescents, young adults (AYAs) and children should be included in this budget.

The Facts:

  • More than 86% of the active military fall within the NIH’s definition for AYAs, which is 15-39 years old.
  • Of the 86% of the active military, almost half are 25 years old or younger, and almost 50% have children.
  • The cancers being researched by the CDMRP have an average age of diagnosis of 66 years old.
  • Cancers that our active military and their children are diagnosed with are basically nonexistent in the CDMRP.

How Rally Made It Happen:

Dean Crowe and Rally Pensacola Director Cindi Bonner with Congressman Gaetz in March 2016.

Dean Crowe and Rally Pensacola Director Cindi Bonner with Congressman Gaetz in March 2017.

In 2016, Dean, along with The Nicholas Conor Institute (TNCI) and others in the childhood cancer community, advocated to the DoD subcommittee members of Congress to include cancers that affect AYAs and children within the DoD’s medical research budget. Rally and TNCI held a briefing in D.C. and organized a nationwide call-in campaign with the help of The Truth 365. As a result, the House, the Senate and ultimately the President approved of the DoD FY2017 budget, which includes report language for AYAs and pediatrics in the $60M Peer-Review Cancer Program. This is the first time that AYAs and all pediatric cancers have been included in the DoD CDMRP budget.

It is unprecedented how quickly we received report language, and we are very grateful. Our ultimate goal is to have our own program (line item in the CDMRP).

Currently, we are collecting signatures in support of our FY2018 DoD CDMRP request. Congressman Michael McCaul (R-TX), Congressman Scott Peters (D-CA) and Congressman Matt Gaetz (R-FL) have submitted the appropriations request for FY2018. Join them in addition to 220 organizations, 550 individual patient advocates, and 50 researchers and oncologists from all across the country and sign the letter of support.

Sign Letter of Support View FY2018 White Paper
View Support Letter and Signatories View FY2018 One-Page Summary

Rally Advisory Board Member Isakson Applauds Approval of First Gene Therapy Treatment in U.S.

Thank you Rally Advisory Board Member Senator Johnny Isakson for your commitment to kids fighting cancer. We appreciate your work on the Advancing Hope Act and 21st Century Cures Act, both of which paved the way for the FDA’s historic approval this week of the first cell-based gene therapy available in the U.S. The new therapy was approved for certain pediatric and young adult patients suffering from a form of acute lymphoblastic leukemia, the most common childhood cancer in America.

Read More Here

Providing a Voice for Kids with Cancer

supportersRally works to raise awareness to increase federal funding for childhood cancer research and strengthen policy around drug development by advocating for legislation that will impact the childhood cancer community. To develop better treatments and ultimately a cure for childhood cancer, it is essential that we work alongside policymakers.

Become a Rally Advocate. Sign up to receive our Rally Advocate emails for the latest advocacy information.

Sign Up to Receive Rally Advocate Emails


Current Collaborations and Legislation Focused on Fighting Childhood Cancer

Alliance for Childhood Cancer:


As a member of the Alliance for Childhood Cancer, Rally has partnered with more than 30 national patient advocacy groups and professional, medical and scientific organizations in the fight against childhood cancer.

Established in 2001 to be a voice for the youngest cancer patients, the Alliance for Childhood Cancer provides a forum for patient advocates, including cancer survivors themselves and parents of kids with cancer, health care professionals and others involved with cancer care. The Alliance meets regularly to share concerns and generate ideas that advance research and policies to improve the lives of families affected by childhood cancer.

Rally also Supports the Following:

RACE for Children Act: The RACE for Children Act will change the law so that children with cancers that share the same biomarker as adult cancers will have access to these drugs, enabling kids with cancer to be treated with the most promising new cancer drugs. This bill is an update of the Pediatric Research Equity Act (PREA). The RACE for Children Act would allow the FDA to require drug companies to have their cancer drug studied in and developed for children when a molecular target of an adult cancer drug is relevant to a children’s cancer. It would also end the orphan exemption for PREA studies. The RACE for Children Act allows the law to catch up with the science and could give a child one more birthday.

To show your support, please sign this petition and send a letter to your Congressman and Senator.


Childhood Cancer Survivorship, Treatment, Access and Research (STAR) Act: The Childhood Cancer Survivorship, Treatment, Access and Research (STAR) Act is the most comprehensive childhood cancer legislation ever taken up by Congress. It is designed to advance pediatric cancer research and child-focused cancer treatments, while also improving childhood cancer surveillance and providing enhanced resources for survivors and those impacted by childhood cancers.

Easy Ways to Be an Advocate for Childhood Cancer Research


Send a personalized letter to your Senator or Congressman or call your elected office and ask them to support public policies that will improve the lives of those affected by childhood cancer.


Schedule a meeting with a member of Congress if you’re in Washington, D.C., or meet with your member when they are in their district office or having a town hall meeting. Download “How to Schedule a Meeting with a Member of Congress.”


Encourage your Congressman to join the Congressional Childhood Cancer Caucus, or if they’re already a member, thank them for their dedication and commitment to childhood cancer.


Share your personal story about why childhood cancer research is important to you. Email your story to

Become a Rally Advocate. Sign up to receive our Rally Advocate emails for the latest advocacy information.

Sign Up to Receive Rally Advocate Emails