Every day, Andrea Sloan fights for others. The attorney from Austin runs the Texas Advocacy Center – a non-profit for victims of domestic violence.
But now, Sloan has a very personal battle she is trying to win. After seven years of fighting late-stage ovarian cancer, the cancer is back and no longer responding to traditional treatment.
Her doctors convinced Sloan that her last chance is an experimental drug called BioMarin, and although she has willingly agreed to not hold the company responsible for any potential negative consequences, the company has refused to release the drug for “compassionate use."
But Sloan isn’t backing down.
“I want to make it easier for cancer patients who are in my position to navigate a system that's really complicated, so that they also have hope,” she said.
Sloan and her team are used to advocating for others, and so she and her allies have launched a war room campaign on Facebook called “Andi’s Army." They are also sharing their story via media outreach and on Capitol Hill, where they are meeting privately with members of Congress.
One unexpected ally for this Democrat is the guy now throwing punches on CNN’s “Crossfire.” After meetings with Andrea, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is using his blog to advocate for her case, writing:
“The regulatory system originally intended to keep Americans safe has become so slow and ineffective that it is killing them.”
Andrea says their shared goal is to make it easier for anyone qualifying for “compassionate use” of trial drugs to get them:
"I just have the most beautiful life of anyone I know. And that's why I want to fight for it. And that's why I want to fight for other people who have beautiful lives."