Barack Obama photo

Remarks on Signing the Gabriella Miller Kids First Research Act

April 03, 2014

The President. Well, it is a great honor to be here to sign the Gabriella Miller Kids First Research Act. And I want to talk about Gabriella, the young girl that this bill is named after.

When Gabriella, a beautiful, fun-loving, smart young lady, was 9 years old, she was diagnosed with a brain tumor about the size of a walnut. And she was tough, and she knew that she had to fight it, and one of the ways that she did was to—it was about the size of a walnut, so she smashed walnuts.

[At this point, the President addressed Gabriella's brother Jake Miller.]

And sometimes, I'll bet you might have helped out. [Laughter]

And she fought the good fight. And Gabriella didn't make it, and she's in a better place, but her parents Mark and Ellyn, along with her little brother Jake, as well as a coalition of outstanding legislators—Republicans and Democrats, standing behind me—as well as advocates, decided that in her memory we needed to make sure that we get more money into research for the National Institute of Health so that we can know more about brain tumors, how they affect children relative to adults, what more we can do to make sure that the pain that the Miller family went through is not something that has to be repeated.

And so what this legislation is going to do is, it's going to put millions of additional dollars into that research. We're going to need some cooperation from Congress, continuing to work on a bipartisan basis, to actually allocate those dollars in an effective way. I know that NIH is very eager to work on these pediatric cancers, because obviously, nothing is more challenging for a family than to go through something like this, and there's more we can do to prevent it.

So I want to thank all the legislators who are standing behind me here today. I want to thank all the advocates who are here with us today. I especially want to thank the Miller family for being here, because it's a wonderful way to remember a wonderful girl.

Okay, so, Jake, do you think that I should I start signing? I should?

Ellyn Miller. Yes, sir [Laughter].

The President. Okay. So what I have to do is, I have to use all of these pens, which means I can only use—for each pen, I can only make, like, half a letter. So it's going to take a little bit of time. Are you okay with that? All right.

[The President signed the bill.]

There you go. And there's my signature, and the bill is officially signed. But before we finish up, you get the first pen.

[The President presented the pen to Jake Miller.]

Ellyn Miller. Say, "Thank you, sir."

Jake Miller. Thank you.

The President. You're welcome.

All right. Thank you, everybody.

NOTE: The President spoke at 4:10 p.m. in the Oval Office at the White House. H.R. 2019, approved April 3, was assigned Public Law No. 113-94.

Barack Obama, Remarks on Signing the Gabriella Miller Kids First Research Act Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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