FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Cancer is a serious disease impacting nearly every American. Now, celebrities and even a Valley woman are in Washington, DC to raise awareness.
Celebrities and leaders came together in the nation's capital on Saint Patrick's Day for one cause: fighting cancer.
Legendary basketball star Kareem Abdul-Jabbar along with actors Marcia Cross and Pierce Brosnan teamed up to launch the "One Degree" campaign -- an effort to raise awareness and increase funding for cancer research.
Abdul Jabbar posting this message to Facebook: "If 007, a Desperate Housewife, and an NBA legend can do it, so can you!"
Along with the stars were dozens of people impacted by the disease -- including Valley native Kathy Flaherty.
Flaherty said, "It's quite an honor. I'm the state lead ambassador and we have over 5,000 ambassadors throughout California."
The Atwater resident is holding on to her mother's memory more than 20-years after she died from cancer.
Flaherty said, "One of the hardest things to me was seeing my mother tell my three young children, who were 7, 10, & 12 at the time, that she had cancer and she was not going to be around to see them grow up."
Ten years after losing her mom, Flaherty also lost her father to cancer. During her trip to Washington, DC, she's been able to hear from survivors, family members and friends who've been touched by the disease.
The One Degree campaign wants to give others a voice by sharing their own experiences on social media. Advocates are asking congress to increase research funding by $6 billion over two years. Something Flaherty is passionate about.
"Everybody has been touched by cancer and we just need to keep it going. The research dollars help find a cute for cancer and we can't keep going backwards."
Her hope is that more research will save more lives. null
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