Swayze Urges Congress to Keep Money for NIH in Stimulus Package

Patrick Swayze, who is waging a high-profile battle with pancreatic cancer, called on Congress to preserve $10 billion in the economic stimulus package for the National Institutes of Health.

The star of A&E's The Beast, in a bylined commentary in The Washington Post Sunday, asked for help in fighting what he called his "often hellacious" battle.

In his piece, titled "I'm Battling Cancer: How About Some Help Congress," Swayze pointed out that Supreme Court Ruth Bader Ginsburg had just been diagnosed with the disease, saying "both of us hope to be pancreatic cancer survivors.

Swayze was backing the Senate version of the bill over the $3.5 billion going to NIH in the House version.

"With Congress about to decide how much money to include for medical research," he wrote, "the time has come to take my personal fight to a larger stage."

It may be a larger political stage, but Swayze's battle has already had a high-profile one in the TV community. He had to cancel a Television Critics Association press tour appearance last month due to illness.

Beast producers found out about Swayze's illness mere hours after the show was ordered by Sony Pictures Television, but Swayze said he could still handle the role.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.