It's all very perplexing to the seventh-grader from Maryland, who doesn't understand why she's being denied medicine that might help her live longer.
"I really don't want to stop and I don't think we should stop," she said in an interview Thursday. "I know there are other drugs out there for me. ... I'm not happy with it. I don't think it's right."
With more than 550,000 Americans dying from cancer each year, such pleas are gaining increased sympathy on Capitol Hill. In an unusual alliance, conservative Kansas Republican Sen. Sam Brownback and liberal California Democratic Rep. Diane Watson introduced legislation this week that would force the government to speed up its drug-approval process and make sure that terminally ill patients get quick access to investigative drugs.
"What we need is a system that looks at the patient and their life-or-death situation, not at a bureaucracy and its needs," said Brownback, a melanoma survivor. "This is deadly neglect and it can't continue."