DeChellis joins ACS in calling for action on Capitol Hill

University Park, Pa. — Just two days before hosting his own event to continue to raise funds in the fight against cancer, Penn State coach Ed DeChellis joined fellow NCAA coaches Mike Brey (Notre Dame), John Thompson III (Georgetown), Oliver Purnell (Clemson) and Tubby Smith (Minnesota) and 6,000 American Cancer Society representatives in Washington, D.C. to meet with congressmen and senators and push for action on Capitol Hill.

The Capitol Hill event sponsored by the American Cancer Society Action Network, the advocacy affiliate of the American Cancer Society, was part of the latest phase of an ACS campaign raise awareness that families affected by cancer need health care that is accessible, affordable, available and administratively simple.

"My whole message today was that we just need to do the right thing so that people who have cancer can get treatment and care," said DeChellis a cancer survivor himself. "It's not a Republican or Democratic thing, it's just humane. It's an American issue and a moral issue and we as Americans can come together and fix it."

Coach DeChellis appeared at a mid-day rally and met with senator Robert Casey and congressmen Glenn Thompson of Pennsylvania as well as U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius and Minnesota senator Al Franken during the Washington D.C. event which included a dinner and social on Monday evening and a day of lobbying on Capitol hill on Tuesday. American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) volunteers from all 50 states were on Capitol Hill to meet with their lawmakers, calling for Action: Now Not Later on comprehensive health care reform.

DeChellis was one of five NCAA Division I basketball coaches to attend, representing Coaches vs. Cancer. The group of more than 500 college basketball coaches has raised nearly $50 million to finance cancer research.

DeChellis fought cancer early in his tenure as the Nittany Lions men's basketball coach and has lost both his parents and several family members to cancer. He was named the 2006 Coaches Vs. Cancer Man of the Year for his efforts in raising funds and awareness in the fight against cancer. As chairman of the Penn State Coaches vs. Cancer organization the last six years he has guided Penn State CVC to record highs of $180,000 raised each of the last two years and more than $1.3 million overall.


DeChellis and the Penn State Coaches Vs. Cancer Committee continued the tradition of one of the most anticipated events of the fall when they hosted the CVC Annual Reverse Drawing this Thursday (Sept. 24) at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park in State College.

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Last Updated November 18, 2010