GIST awareness is vital to the future well-being of GIST patients. Thousands of people are living with GIST, yet many doctors know little to nothing about it. Many GIST patients are unaware of programs and services that may help them and research is not being done on a large enough scale. All of this because this cancer has been labeled rare and therefore, not as important as other diseases.

We need to raise much greater awareness for this disease right now to influence our future.

But we also need to create a lasting impact on the GIST community by rallying to action right now. To that end, the Life Raft Group launched the“13 Promises” campaign, a national advocacy effort to bring the needs of GIST patients directly to top Washington DC policymakers.

Our 13 Promises to the GIST community

  1. Fund GIST research
  2. Fund sarcoma research
  3. Secure a unique GIST reimbursement code
  4. Encourage compassionate use programs
  5. Ensure public payer coverage for medications
  6. Expand clinical trial enrollment
  7. Fund HCP education on sarcomas
  8. Ensure adequate sick leave policies
  9. Enhance social services for sarcoma patients and families
  10. Protect patient job security
  11. Ensure paid sick leave for caregivers
  12. Encourage speedy regulation processes
  13. Incentivize for continued innovation

You can help!

There are a number of different ways to bring the needs of the GIST community to your local government officials. Request that your city and/or state declare July 13 GIST Awareness Day. You can also write letters to local policymakers about the “13 Promises”. Bring their attention to all of our promises or pick one issue in particular that speaks to you. It’s your choice.

You can find templates for all of these letters in our Download Center.