MorrisonSPRINGFIELD — In place of the traditional loafers, high heels and flats, the Illinois Senate Democrats arrived to the chamber floor on Tuesday in their sneakers, a jarringly causal look compared to their usual attire in the General Assembly. However, this wardrobe change wasn’t because they wanted to be more comfortable during the longer session days – members of the caucus were participating in the American Cancer Society’s nationwide Suits and Sneakers campaign to raise awareness of cancer prevention, screening and early detection.

“Cancer has devastating impacts on families in our state, but there are methods to detect cancer early or prevent its growth,” said State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Lake Forest). “As the Chair of the Health and Human Services committee, I am proud to participate in the Suits and Sneakers event to raise visibility and support for the American Cancer Society’s important work, and to encourage more Illinoisans to get screened for cancer.”

According to the World Health Organization, 30-50% of cancer cases are preventable. To bring awareness of the importance of cancer screenings, the American Cancer Society partners with the National Collegiate Athletic Association team on the “Coaches vs. Cancer” campaign ever year. Basketball coaches wear sneakers with suits during their games to honor families and loved ones currently fighting cancer, and reminding people to learn about their risk of cancer and look into preventative treatments.

The Illinois Senate Democrats followed suit and observed Suits and Sneakers Day this Tuesday by lacing up their sneakers to go with their traditional business attire to work on important legislation supporting Illinoisans. Having passed a number of measures advocating for cancer resource expansion, research and support, the caucus remains a champion in the fight against cancer to keep all Illinoisans healthy and safe.

“It’s important for us to spread awareness for cancer because it can impact anyone,” said Senator Robert Peters (D-Chicago). “I lost my own father to cancer. I’d do anything to prevent other people or families to go through the same anguish, and wear sneakers today to encourage everyone to get screened, and to remember those we have lost to this disease.”

For more information about cancer screening, visit the American Cancer Society’s resources here.

suits & sneakers