Bryan Girl an Inspiration to Peers, Congress

By: Kristen Ross Email
By: Kristen Ross Email

One local girl is fighting the battle of her life, cancer. But she isn't letting the disease slow her down, instead she's teaching others how to make a difference.

At 10-years-old, Erin Buenger is already a political activist.

"She just right away came and told me I've done this, and this, and this," Erin's Teacher Alison Kutzenberger said. "I have been to Congress and I've lobbied a bill. Right away I thought this child knows more about this than a lot of people do."

That's why Erin's American History teacher decided to let the student have a shot at teaching the class. Erin called on the help of one of her friends, Congressman Chet Edwards.

"When I met Chet he was just so nice, he was like a dad," Erin said.

The youngster first met Edwards, when she began lobbying for a bill, the Conquer Childhood Cancer Act. It was a journey that would take her all the way to Washington D.C. where over a bag of skittles she told the congressman about her own battle with cancer.

"Erin is an inspiration to me she's a great student, but you know what she's a hard working lobbyist," U.S. Representative Chet Edwards said.

Erin has Neuroblastoma, and has been taking medicine that first came out thirty years ago.

"I felt like we were needing more research," Erin said. "Hundreds of kids die every year because they don't have the right kinds of medicine to keep them alive and that's not good."

On Friday morning, Erin taught her peers how a bill becomes a law. Something she knows a lot about because the legislation she is fighting for is going through the same process.

"She's not going to let me rest until we get this bill passed into law," Edwards said.

"I hope the bill gets passed next year," Erin said. "Then I hope I go and help get another bill get signed. I think it's really cool to lobby."

H.R. 1553 is before the senate this year, and Erin and Edwards hope to see it go before the House next year.

As for Erin she hopes to one day become the President of the United States.


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