Battling Disabling Disordersby Senator Tim Kaine
Posted on 2014-03-11
KAINE. Mr. President, I am pleased today the Senate will pass
legislation I support, the Gabriella Miller Kids First Research Act.
This bipartisan legislation honors the memory of Gabriella Miller, a
young girl from Leesburg, VA who was diagnosed with an inoperable brain
tumor at age 9.
In the face of her own diagnosis, Gabriella worked to help other children with pediatric diseases. She raised money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, spoke at local and national awareness events and authored a special writing in a children's book about cancer.
Gabriella and her family started the Smashing Walnuts Foundation, dedicated to finding a cure for childhood brain cancer. The organization was named for the walnut-sized tumor in her brain. Gabriella passed away last year, but her dedication to raising awareness and funding for pediatric disease research is part of her legacy.
[[Page S1492]] The Gabriella Miller Kids First Research Act will require the director of the National Institutes of Health to allocate $126 million--$12.6 million each year for 10 years--of appropriated funds for pediatric research. The money would be allocated into needed research grants for pediatric autism, cancer and other diseases.
The fight for funding pediatric research is far from over but this is a step in the right direction. As Gabriella said, ``You may have a bad day today, but there's always a bright shining star to look forward to tomorrow.'' It is my hope that this legislation will help fund research that leads to future treatments and cures.
I would like to thank Senator Mark Warner and Senator Orrin Hatch for supporting this legislation and Congressman Cantor for championing the bill through the House of Representatives.
This bipartisan effort is about making sure pediatric disease research is a high priority. I am proud we were able to pass legislation that honors Gabriella Miller, her family, and her inspiring work as an advocate for pediatric disease research.