Washington, DC – U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) today announced he has invited Kimberly Wade of Jerseyville, Illinois to be his guest at this year’s State of the Union. Wade is the mother of Jonny Wade an eight-year-old boy who lost his battle with brain cancer this past Christmas Eve. Davis first met Jonny, his twin brother Jacky, and their parents Kimberly and Jon Wade last year and spoke out on the House floor in support of their efforts to increase pediatric cancer research.
L to R: Jonny, Davis, and Jacky
“Jonny was a remarkable young man, unwavering in his faith and mission to spare all children from cancer – a mission I hope to continue in Congress,” said Davis. “Cancer remains the leading cause of death from disease among children, yet only four percent of the National Cancer Institute’s budget goes to pediatric cancer research. The House made significant strides for medical research last year by passing the 21st Century Cures Act and increasing funding for the National Institute of Health but more can be done. I’m asking all of my colleagues in the House to stand with me and the Wade family on Tuesday night to continue Jonny’s cause and show their support for the fight against childhood cancer.”
Next week, Davis, a member of the Congressional Childhood Cancer Caucus, will send this letter, and a “Team Jonny” wristband, to share Jonny’s story and ask all 434 of his colleagues to join him in supporting the fight to end childhood cancer:
I invite you to join me in the fight against pediatric cancer and honor a constituent of mine, Jonny Wade of Jerseyville, Illinois, who died on Christmas Eve from brain cancer at the age of eight. Jonny’s mother Kimberly will be my guest at this year’s State of the Union and I hope you will wear this “Team Jonny” wristband to show your support for pediatric cancer research.
Jonny was diagnosed with brain cancer, which had spread to his spine, on Christmas Day 2014. During Jonny's battle with cancer, his mother Kimberly set up a Facebook page, "Project Team Jonny," to document his fight and raise awareness for childhood cancer. Project Team Jonny has more than 65,000 followers nationwide.
On January 2nd, thousands of Jonny’s followers watched online as he was laid to rest. Jonny displayed a tremendous amount of courage throughout his battle with cancer; continually stating, “I don’t want any other kid to have cancer.” Kimberly plans to start a foundation in Jonny's name to advocate for additional pediatric cancer research. Currently, only four percent of the National Cancer Institute's (NCI) budget goes to pediatric cancer research.
The House has made significant strides for cancer and rare disease research by increasing funding for the National Institute of Health (NIH) and passing the 21st Century Cures Act but I believe more can be done to help eradicate childhood cancer.
Enclosed, you will find a wristband that reads “TEAM JONNY”. I hope you will join the fight against pediatric cancer by wearing this wristband on Tuesday night in honor of Jonny and all children battling cancer. Thank you for your support, and please keep Jonny’s family in your thoughts and prayers.
Member of Congress