Tammi Carr testifies against cancer cuts in proposed budget

Tammi Carr's son, Chad Carr, battled inoperable brain tumor

The story of Chad Carr and his brave fight against an inoperable brain tumor not only captured the attention of Metro Detroit, it captured the hearts of people around the state.

Chad was the grandson of former University of Michigan head coach Lloyd Carr. Now, nearly a year and a half after Chad's death, his mother, Tammi Carr, took their fight for cancer research to Capitol Hill.

Under the proposed budget, there would be significant research cuts, as President Donald Trump's plan would cut funding to the National Institute of Health by $1.2 billion this year, specifically targeting research grants.

Tammi Carr spoke Wednesday on behalf of families affected by cancer to explain just how devastating the cuts would be.

"When you think about 600,000 people lost a year, that is, there's nothing worse," Carr said. "How can we not be focusing on this?"

Flanked by the heads of major cancer centers, Carr spoke from her heart.

"I feel that, unfortunately, this was my role in life, and that was Chad's," she said. "His journey was to create change, and this was to be his legacy."

The ChadTough Foundation raised over $1.6 million last year for research into DIPG, the rare brain tumor that took Chad's life. Carr said that's a drop in the bucket.

"I look at this budget, and I think about all this promise, even just around this one disease, and the fact that zero new grants would come out -- that leaves just this one disease, all in the hands of families like ours," Carr said. "Nothing is going to happen from that."

Carr testified progress has already been made against Chad's disease in just two years, but cancer research needs more funding, not less.

"I don't wish anyone to go through this to really get it," Carr said. "Listen to what we're saying. You don't want this to happen to anyone you know."

Members of Congress saluted Carr's efforts.

"Your son clearly is here in our presence today, and you know that," Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence said. "Everyone strives to have their life be a legacy or to leave a mark or to do something that will be reflected in history as a game-changer. Your son did that."

Carr urged members of Congress to fight as hard as possible against the proposed budget cuts.

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