If you’ve been involved with the Nati0nal Brain Tumor Society for any length of time, you’ve likely heard of Head to the Hill. Hundreds of brain tumor patients and caregivers will come from all over the United States to speak directly to our elected officials about the concerns and needs of the brain tumor community. This year, we’ll be in Washington, D.C. from May 6-8. Unlike the past two years, Congress will not be in recess, which means they will be in the Capitol. Couple that with a renewed cry for more brain tumor research, NOW is the time for us to have our legislative agenda heard.
And how can prepare you for the event? Here are a few resources and things to look forward to in D.C.:
2018 Head to the Hill Training Webinar
Last week’s webinar went over what to expect of our training day, including how you can use your personal connection to this disease to reach Congress and their staff in a way that simple facts and figures cannot. The training, led by our amazing Public Policy & Advocacy team, is worth a watch (or listen), for both new advocates, and the seasoned veterans of our advocacy efforts. While it’s not a replacement for May 7’s in-person training, we think it’s a great primer for those of you trying to get a feel, or headstart, for what’s coming.
But what are some of the other things NBTS has planned for this trip?
Race for Hope DC
If you’re planning to arrive on Saturday, May 5, then you’ll be able to rest up before joining us bright and early at the Race for Hope, DC. The Race for Hope is one of the largest brain tumor events that raises both awareness and funds for brain tumor research. We partner with our friends at Accelerate Brain Cancer Cure to host thousands of participants and supporters in the heart of D.C. who will race and walk in support of the brain tumor community. There’s even a team made up of Head to the Hill advocates!
Even if you don’t want to participate in the race or walk, coming down to the event is a great way to meet more people from around the country and share your stories with people who empathize.
Butterfly Release with CERN
May 6 is also Ependymoma Awareness Day, and our friends from the Collaborative Ependymoma Research Network (CERN) are once again joining us to include their annual butterfly release as part of our Head to the Hill Welcome Reception on Sunday evening, May 6. We are proud to partner with them on this day of awareness, and can’t recommend this event enough. Go to their site to learn more, and make sure to attend our welcome reception to meet with other advocates and take part in the inspirational butterfly release in a beautiful rooftop location overlooking Washington, DC.
Training Day is May 7
The Training Day is a comprehensive, fun series of presentations and engaging dialogue with all of you to prepare you for May 8th’s congressional visits. You’re going to hear from leading scientists, brain tumor survivors, and other guests who will help you craft your story into a powerful force for change. In addition, you will receive your schedule of the next day’s congressional meetings.
May 8: The Big Day
On Tuesday morning, we’ll board buses for the Capitol where we will take a group picture, and have breakfast and a brief program before beginning our meetings. We have arranged for a Head to the Hill headquarters close to the Capitol so that you have a spot to rest and/or have a snack between meetings, as well as a place to securely store your luggage (for those not storing it at the hotel) or any other personal belongings you don’t want to carry to your meetings.
Please note that meetings may be scheduled throughout the afternoon until as late as 5:30 PM, and you won’t know your meeting schedule until after you have made your travel arrangements. Therefore, assume that you will have a late afternoon meeting when scheduling your departing flight or ground transportation.
If you’re looking for more specific answers on what to expect, what to wear, and how to get there, we’ve updated our FAQ and Travel Information sections to give you a sense of what to expect before you arrive in town. We’re looking forward to seeing you there, and raising our voices together as we urge Congress to help the brain tumor community.