Eshoo Invites 18th Congressional District Pancreatic Cancer Survivor as Guest to State of the Union

February 4, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C.— Congresswoman Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA) announced today that San Jose resident Diane Borrison will join her as a special guest at the State of the Union in Washington, D.C., on February 4, 2020. Ms. Borrison is a 13-year survivor of pancreatic cancer and a Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PanCAN) advocate.

Congresswoman Eshoo invited Ms. Borrison to highlight her story and the story of families, patients across the 18th Congressional District, and across the country. When Ms. Borrison was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2006, the five-year survival rate was only 6 percent. The survival rate has increased to 10 percent in recent years, but Borrison’s 13 years of survival defies this statistic. Since overcoming the disease, Ms. Borrison has been a fierce PanCAN advocate, travelling to Washington, D.C. every spring with other volunteers to demand increased federal funding for pancreatic cancer research.

“I’ve been privileged to work with Diane for many years to increase federal investments in research, early diagnosis, and treatment of pancreatic cancer,” Rep. Eshoo said. “Her advocacy has given hope to patients, survivors, and their families and her engagement has been critical in advancing legislation to improve outcomes for pancreatic cancer patients. It’s an honor to have her as my guest at the State of the Union, and her presence highlights the national need for affordable health care for every American and robust funding for research and development.”

Congresswoman Eshoo was the lead House author of the Recalcitrant Cancer Research Act of 2012, landmark legislation that defined the deadliest cancers as those with a five-year survival rate of 50 percent or less and directed the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to focus research on these cancers, including pancreatic cancer. Eshoo also co-chairs the Congressional Caucus on the Deadliest Cancers.  Her leadership has strengthened the research environment for these cancers which is a critical precursor to making progress on these diseases. Most recently, Eshoo successfully advanced a provision to dedicate $6 million to pancreatic cancer research as part of the Department of Defense’s Peer Reviewed Cancer Research Program in Fiscal Year 2020, and during Rep. Eshoo’s leadership of the Caucus on Deadliest Cancers, NCI funding for recalcitrant cancers has increased by nearly 50 percent. 

As Chairwoman of the Health Subcommittee, Eshoo has championed increased funding to address deadly cancers while advancing legislation to lower drug costs, protect people with pre-existing conditions, and reverse health care sabotage advanced by the Trump Administration.