Fw: In-town pool report #2 - 21st Century Cures Act signing

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Jordan Fabian >
Date: Tue, Dec 13, 2016 at 2:40 PM
Subject: In-town pool report #2 - 21st Century Cures Act signing
To: "Rutherford, Sarah D. EOP/WHO" >, "Gabriel, Brian" >

Your pooler entered the South Court Auditorium just after 2:30 PM for the 21st Century Cures Act signing.

POTUS and VPOTUS are both scheduled to deliver remarks shortly, the event is open press.

Background from the White House below.

Lots of lawmakers in attendance, here are some additional names beyond those provided by the White House spotted by LAT's Mike Memoli and yours truly.

Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz.

Sens. Klobuchar, Manchin, Hatch, Franken, and Markey.

Reps. Kuster, Tim Murphy, Boustany, and Holt.

Manchin and Moniz warmly shook hands and spoke briefly at the front of the auditorium.

Background from the White House:

Today, the President will deliver remarks and sign the 21st Century Cures Act.  The Vice President will also deliver remarks.  This bill will make new investments to address the heroin and prescription opioid epidemic, accelerate discoveries in cancer research as part of the Cancer Moonshot, expand the Administration's BRAIN and Precision Medicine Initiatives, and take important steps to improve mental health and build on the work of this Administration to improve the Food and Drug Administration's drug development process.

The President will be introduced by David and Kate Grubb who lost their daughter Jessica in March to an overdose. David and Kate shared the story of their daughter’s struggle with addiction when the President visited West Virginia for a community forum on the opioid epidemic in October 2015.

The President and Vice President will be joined on stage by:

Senator Lamar Alexander, R-TN

Senator Chris Murphy, D-CT

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-CA

Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer, D-MD

Representative Fred Upton, R-MI

Representative Gene Green, D-TX

Representative Frank Pallone, D-NJ

Representative Diana DeGette, D-CO

Chris Draft

CEO, Chris Draft Family Foundation

Chris Draft, a former NFL player drafted by the Chicago Bears, is the Founder of the Chris Draft Family Foundation, which he started with his wife, whom he lost in 2011 to lung cancer. The Foundation seeks partnerships with local and national community health organizations, school districts and non-profits across the country, striving to empower communities by educating and equipping families to make healthier choices. The Foundation has worked with the Cancer Moonshot this year on connecting cancer-related resources and information to service members and veterans of the U.S. military.

Kafui Dzirasa, MD, PhD

Presidential Early Career Award Winner for Scientists and Engineers

Kafui Dzirasa is the first African-American to complete a Ph.D. in neurobiology at Duke University. In 2016, he was awarded the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers. His research interests focus on using neural technology to understand how changes in the brain produce neurological and mental illness and he has participated in numerous programs geared toward exposing youth to science and technology and providing health education for underserved communities. Dr. Dzirasa joined the President in an October 2016 panel discussion at the White House Frontiers Conference to discuss advances in medical research.

Lindsey Greinke

Founder, Hope Soldiers

Lindsey Greinke is the founder of Hope Soliders, a non-profit organization in Washington State that offers free mentorship, advocacy, and support to individuals with substance use and mental health disorders. After struggling with addiction to heroin, Lindsey nearly gave up on treatment – she had no health insurance or money – but now she has three years of sobriety. Lindsay participated in an MTV documentary on the opioid epidemic featuring the President that aired on October 11, 2016.

David and Kate Grubb (Introducers)

Parents from Charleston, West Virginia

David Grubb is a former State Senator and former member of the West Virginia House of Delegates, where he represented Kanawha County for a combined eight years.  He is the founder of the Mountain State’s largest consumer and public interest organization, the West Virginia-Citizen Action Group. Kate Grubb is a 1979 graduate of Barat College in Lake Forest, Illinois.  In 1981 she moved to West Virginia as a VISTA Volunteer for the WV-Citizen Action Group as a community organizer.  Kate and David lost their 30 year old daughter Jessica in March 2016 from an overdose. Today, they are working on the establishment of an intentional residential community for autistic and developmentally delayed adults that will honor the life and memory of their daughter. David and Kate shared their story with the President when he visited West Virginia for a community forum on the opioid epidemic in October 2015.

Stefanie Joho

Sales Development and Marketing Coordinator, Vox Media, Inc.

Stefanie Joho has worked in sales and marketing since 2010 with Vox Media and ELLE Magazine, among others. She was diagnosed with Lynch Syndrome and colorectal cancer after graduating from New York University in 2013. After surgeries and chemotherapy failed to stop progression of the disease, Stefanie was successfully treated at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center with an immunotherapy drug that has shrunk her tumor and has put her into remission.  The Vice President met Stefanie as part of his listening tour at Johns Hopkins earlier this year.

Theresa Lepow

Director of Military Spouse Employment Program, Amazon (Wife of Brandon Lepow)

Theresa Lepow runs the first-ever military spouse employment program at Amazon, initiated by Amazon's White House Joining Forces commitment to hire 25,000 veterans and military spouses in May 2015.

In 2013, Theresa’s husband, Brandon Lepow – a former White House spokesman – was diagnosed with T-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. Throughout his fight against cancer, while being treated at the MD Anderson Cancer center in Houston where he was from, Brandon leveraged social media and his network to share his journey and highlight ways people could get involved in the fight against cancer. After a two-year battle, Brandon passed away in 2015. He was 32 years old.

Theresa now lives in Seattle, Washington where she continues Brandon's work in cancer research funding as a member of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center Young Innovators Network.

Crystal Oertel

Individual in Recovery, Shelby, OH

Crystal Oertle is a survivor of a 12-year heroin addiction and a recovery advocate working to erase the shame of addiction. Crystal shared her powerful story through a TEDx talk and joined the President for a panel discussion on addiction at the National Rx Drug Abuse and Heroin Summit in Atlanta.

Elana Simon

Student at Harvard University

After surviving a rare liver cancer, Elana Simon and a team of scientists at Rockefeller University, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and New York Genome Center identified a genetic mutation that may be the cause of the cancer. The February 2014 issue of Science magazine published their findings on fibrolamellar, which affects about 200 adolescents and young adults annually worldwide. Elana presented her project to the President at the May 2014 White House Science Fair. She has introduced both the President and Vice President at events, including the January 2015 launch of the Precision Medicine Initiative.

Sonia Vallabh and Eric Minikel
Ph.D. students, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard
In late 2011, when Sonia Vallabh was working in consulting, she learned that she carries the genetic mutation that caused her mother to abruptly develop and die of prion disease the year before. Along with her husband, Eric Minikel, Sonia changed careers to train in the biomedical sciences. Sonia and Eric have worked for two years with induced pluripotent stem cell models of Huntington's disease at Massachusetts General Hospital before joining the Biological and Biomedical Sciences Ph.D. program at Harvard Medical School. Sonia and Eric met the President at a February 2016 event highlighting one year of progress on the Precision Medicine Initiative. Sonia joined the President on stage to discuss her experience as a patient and researcher.

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