The Voice of Canadians With Breast Cancer

ACTION

Advocacy

Contacting Government Relations for Advocacy: Sample Letters

There are various avenues to share your story as a form of advocacy. Should you choose to share your message via government relations, we provide sample letters below to get you started. These sample letters are written from the perspective of “Kelly Slynch”, a metastatic breast cancer patient advocating for increased awareness of the everyday experiences of metastatic breast cancer patients. Feel free to refer to and use the following samples when sending a letter to government officials or government bodies.

The highlighted sections refer to the types of information mentioned in our Communicating Your Story worksheet that you should be including in your communications, if they apply. Be sure to edit the letter to reflect your own personal information and situation. While we have made these samples available as PDFs, if you choose to send your communications via email, the text should be written within the body of the email and not sent as an attachment.

Letter to MPs/MPPs

Letter opener [If sent by postal mail]:
Name of MP/MPP/Party Leader
Street Address
City/Town, Postal Code

Date

Subject line [If sent by email]:
More is needed for metastatic patients like me

Dear Name of Councillor, MPP,

As a constituent in your riding, I am writing to you to share my concerns as a woman living with metastatic breast cancer. [Identify issue/personal connection] Through my personal experience living with metastatic breast cancer, it is often common to feel isolated from the general breast cancer community. Many women living with a metastatic breast cancer diagnosis feel that the breast cancer information currently available simply does not address our unique needs. No matter where you are located, it is important for women living with metastatic breast cancer to feel supported and connected to a network of people who are facing similar challenges, especially as we try to better understand our diagnosis and access diverse treatment options.

[Facts and statistics] A few important facts about metastatic breast cancer:

  • Advanced or metastatic breast cancer occurs when the cancer has spread to other parts of the body – most commonly, the bones, liver, lungs and brain.
  • Metastatic breast cancer is currently considered an incurable disease, though there are many treatments that can help to control disease progression.
  • Every year, approximately 25,500 Canadians are diagnosed with breast cancer.
  • Approximately 30 percent of those initially diagnosed with earlier stages of breast cancer later develop recurrent and/or metastatic disease.
  • At least three Canadian women receive their first breast cancer diagnosis of locally advanced or metastatic disease every day.

[Personal story] Now 54 years old, I was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer (Stage IV) in June 2010. As a mother and a new grandmother, I look forward to spending as much time with my loved ones as possible. And this summer, I’ll be traveling across the U.S. and Canada with my family, visiting iconic landmarks I’ve never seen before – like Niagara Falls. For women like me, a new year brings new hope. New treatments are available to help extend the number of sunrises, road trips, laughs and hugs with family members – an important New Year’s resolution to keep.

My story, experiences, and challenges as an individual living with metastatic breast cancer is important and should be highlighted and recognized along with other early-stage breast cancer patients. [Proposed solution] Advocates from across Canada have called on the government to officially recognize October 13th of every year as Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day in Canada, a day intended to support and honour individuals living with metastatic breast cancer all across the world.

[Call-to-action] I call on you to commit to vote on the proposed proclamation up for debate in the upcoming council meeting and stand in solidarity with Canadian families affected by metastatic breast cancer.

Thank you for your commitment, and I look forward to receiving a response from you.

Sincerely,

Kelly Slynch
Vancouver, BC, V5V 5V5

[Insert at least one form of contact if letter is sent via postal mail] 

Download as PDF | Download as Word document

Letter to CADTH

CADTH Contact Information:

CADTH President

Ms. Suzanne McGurn
President and CEO
The Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health
865 Carling Ave., Suite 600
Ottawa, ON Canada K1S 5S8

Minister of Health

The Honourable Patty Hajdu
Minister of Health
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A6
hcminister.ministresc@canada.ca or Patty.Hajdu@parl.gc.ca


Letter opener [If sent by postal mail]:
First and last name
Title
Government Department
Address

Date

Subject line [If sent by email]:
More is needed for metastatic patients like me

Dear Ms. Gurn/Honourable Patty Hadju,

My name is Kelly Slynch and I am a mother and new grandmother living with metastatic breast cancer. I am writing today to share my concerns regarding the changes to CADTH’s Drug Review Processes and the impact they may have on cancer patients.

[Identify issue] I am concerned that the changes to the drug review process could result in less availability and accessibility to cancer medications in Canada. [Impact of issue] These changes would limit the opportunities for clinicians to provide input to the process. Clinician input is essential for ensuring that authorities are making truly informed decisions about treatments and their use in Canada.

Most concerningly, the development and application of the provisional algorithm requires greater transparency. The provisional algorithm affects how cancer drugs will be funded and implemented in clinical practice across provinces. It is essential that the process for developing and implementing the algorithm is disclosed transparently with the input of both clinicians and patient groups.

[Personal story] Now 54 years old, I was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer (Stage IV) in June 2010. As a mother and a new grandmother, I look forward to spending as much time with my loved ones as possible. And this summer, I’ll be traveling across the U.S. and Canada with my family, visiting iconic landmarks I’ve never seen before – like Niagara Falls. For women like me, a new year brings new hope. New treatments are available to help extend the number of sunrises, road trips, laughs and hugs with family members – an important New Year’s resolution to keep. The proposed CADTH changes could greatly impact my ability to access medications that prolong my survival.

[Proposed resolution and call-to-action] I urge you to consider the recommendations made by the cancer patient community, including supporting continued opportunities for clinician input and ensuring a transparent process for the development and implementation of provisional algorithms for cancer treatment including opportunities for stakeholders to provide input.

Sincerely,

Kelly Slynch
Vancouver, BC, V5V 5V5

[Insert at least one form of contact if letter is sent via postal mail] 

Download as PDF | Download as Word document

Letter to PMPRB

PMPRB Contact Information:

Member of Parliament

Name of Member of Parliament
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A6

Minister of Health

The Honourable Patty Hajdu
Minister of Health
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A6
hcminister.ministresc@canada.ca or Patty.Hajdu@parl.gc.ca


Letter opener [If sent by postal mail]:
First and last name
Title
Government Department
Address

Date

Subject line [If sent by email]:
More is needed for metastatic patients like me

Dear Honourable Patty Hadju/Name of Councillor,

My name is Kelly Slynch and I am a mother and new grandmother and I am living with metastatic breast cancer. I am writing today to share my concerns regarding new changes to the Patented Medicines Prices Review Board (PMPRB) regulations and the impact they may have on cancer patients.

[Identify issue] I am concerned that the rapid implementation of these regulations could result in less availability and accessibility to innovative cancer medications in Canada. There is no doubt that medications in Canada should be more affordable for patients.  [Impact of issue] However, some of the proposed changes outlined by the PMPRB could result in fewer therapy options for cancer patients. If Canada proceeds too quickly with implementing these changes, companies may decide to delay or halt drug launches in our country, leaving patients without essential and life-saving therapies available in other parts of the world.

These changes could also potentially impact the accessibility of clinical trials in Canada-which would have devastating consequences for cancer patients. For many cancer patients, clinical trials represent an opportunity to benefit from innovative therapies. This is especially true for patients who have exhausted other treatment options. If global drug manufacturers view Canada as a lower priority or a difficult market to enter, our access to clinical trials may also be compromised.

[Personal story] Now 54 years old, I was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer (Stage IV) in June 2010. As a mother and a new grandmother, I look forward to spending as much time with my loved ones as possible. And this summer, I’ll be traveling across the U.S. and Canada with my family, visiting iconic landmarks I’ve never seen before – like Niagara Falls. For women like me, a new year brings new hope. New treatments are available to help extend the number of sunrises, road trips, laughs and hugs with family members – an important New Year’s resolution to keep.

[Impact of issue] The proposed PMPRB changes could greatly impact my ability to access medications that prolong my survival.

[Proposed resolution and call-to-action] I urge you to consider the recommendations that were made by the patient community in Canada, including instituting a phased approach to implementation, developing a rigorous monitoring and evaluation process and engaging collaboratively to make patient voices a permanent part of the decision-making process at PMPRB.

With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, access to new treatments and vaccines has never been more important. It is essential that our health regulatory systems are able to support access to innovative and life-saving treatments for all Canadians.  

Sincerely,

Kelly Slynch
Vancouver, BC, V5V 5V5

[Insert email at your discretion if letter is sent via postal mail] K.Slynch@kslynch.com

[Insert add least one form of contact if letter is sent via postal mail] 780-000-0000

Download as PDF | Download as Word document

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