Oct. 21, 2013

In Memoriam - Representative C.W. Bill Young

On Friday, October 18, 2013, our nation lost a great leader; the loss of Representative Bill Young will be felt not only by Floridians, but by all Americans.  Representative Young was an ardent supporter of federal funding for our men and women in the military and for biomedical research at the Department of Defense. 

Representative Young was a champion for lupus and his outstanding national leadership in advancing biomedical research improved the quality of life for millions of Americans, including people living with lupus and their loved ones. 

Representative Young was instrumental in supporting the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program at the Department of Defense (CDMRP).  Given the increase of women and minorities in the military, there is an increasing prevalence of lupus.  Recognizing this emerging health issue, Congressman Young supported our advocacy efforts and listed lupus as a disease for study under the Peer Reviewed Medical Research Program within the CDMRP beginning in Fiscal Year 2005.  The Peer Reviewed Medical Research Program has been critical in gaining a better understanding of lupus.

Representative Bill Young was first elected to Congress in 1970 and was reelected a staggering 20 times; serving his state of Florida in the House of Representatives from 1971-2013.  The Representative was a nine-year veteran of the Army National Guard and he also served six years as a reservist.  Representative Young served as Chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, which he previously chaired from 1995-1998 and 2005-2006.  Representative Young also served as chairman of the full House Committee on Appropriations from 1999 to 2005. He was the longest-serving Republican member of Congress at the time of his death. 

The Lupus Foundation of America was honored to have had the opportunity to bestow our Distinguished Leadership Award to Representative Young at the Foundation’s 2011 National Advocacy Day luncheon.  The award honored Representative Young’s past support as a cosponsor of the 2005 and 2007 Lupus Research, Education, Awareness, Communications, and Healthcare (REACH) legislation.

On behalf of the 1.5 million Americans with lupus, we send our condolences to the Representative’s family.  Representative Bill Young will truly be missed.

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