In recognition of her advocacy and her legislative work on cancer prevention and patient quality of life, Sen. Carla Nelson (R-Rochester) was recently named a recipient of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network’s Distinguished Advocacy Award. The award was presented to Sen. Nelson at a ceremony during the Olmsted County Relay for Life on June 16.
“It is a tremendous honor to have received this award,” said Sen. Nelson. “My mother is a 36-year cancer survivor, and the best way to honor my mom’s courageous battle – and that of the thousands of other Minnesotans affected by cancer – is to do what I can to advocate for cancer prevention, research, and treatment.”
During Sen. Nelson’s tenure in the state legislature, she has championed legislation aimed at cancer prevention. During the 2017 legislative session, Sen. Nelson introduced a bill to raise Minnesota’s legal tobacco purchasing age to 21 – the first time this type of legislation has been introduced in the state. In addition, Sen. Nelson authored biosimilars legislation, which makes available the next generation of treatments for certain cancers.
“Sen. Nelson championed two important legislative priorities for the American Cancer Society,” said Ellie Beaver, director of government relations for the Minnesota American Cancer Society’s legislative arm. “This year’s work was the first step toward the goal of leading in tobacco control and prevention. We also applaud the passage of Sen. Nelson’s biosimilars bill and know Minnesotans will benefit from its implementation, as it will bring better access to the medications they need.”
“Cancer is a terrible but disease, but many cancers are preventable,” Sen. Nelson continued. “This year, 5,900 Minnesotans will die from smoking-related diseases. My mom, and countless Minnesotans, are living proof that cancer can be beaten. By working together, we can keep Minnesota a leader in health, wellness, and cancer prevention.”
Sen. Nelson is in her third term representing Senate District 26, which includes communities in southern Olmsted County. Sen. Nelson serves as chairwoman of the Senate Education Finance Committee.