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Volunteer Spotlight – Sim Raman

April 09, 2024

Volunteer Spotlight – Sim Raman

I spent several years wandering through my health plan's and state's complicated fertility coverage policies searching for guidelines and loopholes. It was an exhausting processand often felt like an unpaid and unsatisfactory second job. I thought then that if I ever made some sense of it, I would try to use some of those hard-won skills to help other people navigate through similarly complex situations for which there isn't always a well-lit path. When I heard about FORCE from a genetic counselor that I worked with, I was immediately taken with the idea of a centralized organization for those facing hereditary cancer, and my time with FORCE as a Patient Advocate Leader has shown me just how valuable its resources are for the community it serves.

I’ve had several opportunities to advocate on behalf of the hereditary cancer community. First, I participated in a 2-day advocacy event hosted by one of our FORCE’s partners, the Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance. During the event, I met in person with several lawmakers, sharing my passion for becoming a genetic counselor and personal experiences to support the intended legislation. On the same day, I joined a prostate cancer briefing to better understand the needs of the high-risk prostate cancer community. In addition, I participated at a Capitol briefing on FORCE’s “Reducing Hereditary Cancer Act,” which is currently being considered at the federal level. I supported the event by helping with registration and asking pointed relevant questions which further stimulated the conversation.

Being able to speak with state and federal legislators to advocate for laws that support the hereditary cancer community has given me immense purpose. It has taught me about the nuances of the needs of the hereditary cancer community and how those needs can be addressed through legislation. Meeting with congressional staffers humanizes an issue and helps them understand what's important to their constituents. All of this has made me a more involved, committed, and vocal participant in local and federal public policy and I'm grateful to FORCE for giving me an avenue to be a more engaged member of our community. 

Posted in: Volunteer Spotlight
Tags: Advocacy , Volunteer

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