|Published:||Jun 28, 2013 10:26 PM EDT|
|Updated:||Jun 28, 2013 11:20 PM EDT|
FORT MYERS, Fla. - A Fort Myers father brought his fight against childhood cancer to lawmakers in Washington D.C.
10 years ago, Rob Whan never imagined he'd be marching up Capitol Hill with his own personal campaign. But, a little boy named Caleb changed all that. "There's no option but to fight," Whan said.
Rob's son, a Spiderman-loving 4-year-old with a beaming smile, lost his battle with leukemia in 2008. Since then, he and his family have become advocates and fundraisers for other local families, creating Caleb's Crusade Against Childhood Cancer.
"They don't have a choice. They don't give up.They take every day in stride," Whan said describing the children. "If we could learn a little bit about how they fight and never give up in this fight and give the kids the dollars they deserve, it's a very important point."
On Father's Day, Rob boarded a plane to D.C. Throughout the next week, he took part in nine meetings at Senate and Congressional district offices, asking lawmakers to support legislation and initiatives that would increase funding for research and treatment programs.
"The budget childhood cancer works with on a national level is under $200 million and that is all the clinical trials these kids have to offer and most kids are treated on clinical trials," Whan said.
One victory came through through Congressman Trey Radel's office. Radel, who has a young son of his own, joined the Congressional Childhood Cancer Caucus on the spot. It's one step that's helping Rob keep his fight going. He quoted a poem saying, "a perfect day is when you can do something for somebody that they can not thank you enough."
Congressman Radel's office released this statement saying, "As a father, I was touched by Rob Whan's story and inspired by the work he is doing. He serves as an example of how one person through the work of non profits can inspire a movement for change."
Caleb's Crusade just held its kickoff meeting Thursday night, inviting the community to join the fight, through fundraising and running events. If you'd to get involved go to http://calebscrusade.com/ or https://www.facebook.com/calebscrusade.