Vermillion cancer advocate chosen to ‘head for the hill’

Vermillion cancer advocate chosen to 'head for the hill'
The American Cancer Society (ACS), the nation's leading voluntary health organization, has named Vermillion's Mary Mock an ambassador to represent her community at Celebration on the Hill 2006.

The nationwide event, held in Washington, D.C. Sept. 19-20, will engage Congress in the fight against cancer. Mock will join a group of 10,000 fellow Celebration Ambassadors, cancer survivors and volunteers from every congressional district in the country unifying their voices in the nation's capital. She is one of 18 South Dakota ambassadors attending the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network-hosted event.

Mock recently retired from The University of South Dakota after nearly 30 years of service and has been actively involved with ACS for just as long. Due to the loss of her father to colon cancer and the more recent diagnosis of her brother, she has become an advocate dedicated to alleviating suffering from this disease.

"In 1978, my father and three of my softball players' parents (got cancer) within six months," Mock said. "We decided to raise money for ACS by doing what we did best. We played softball � in the snow ��in January � in South Dakota!"

Celebration Ambassadors are community leaders, survivors, caregivers, health professionals, cancer researchers and volunteers who believe that defeating cancer will require courageous policy decisions by government officials at the federal, state and local levels. During the event, they will meet with lawmakers and call on Congress to make cancer a national priority by boosting the federal commitment to cancer research and programs. Participants will also converge upon the National Mall to share their stories about how cancer has touched their lives.

The American Cancer Society is partnering with ACS CAN, its sister advocacy organization, to eliminate cancer as a major public health problem. ACS CAN uses voter education and issue campaigns aimed at influencing candidates and lawmakers to support laws and policies that will help people fight cancer. ACS CAN does not endorse candidates and is not a political action committee (PAC). For more information, visit

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