This letter is for your representative in the U.S. Congress.  There is also a sample letter pre-written for you to send to Director Nussle.  Please personalize and send BOTH letters!  You can send your letter by fax, postal mail, or email depending on the contact information your congressperson has made available.

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This is a sample letter for you to send to help fund Valley Fever research.  Be sure to DELETE ALL THE BRACKETED ITEMS and replace them with your personalized information.  When you are done, please check your letter for proper spelling, check that all the bracketed placeholders have been removed, and remove all the instructions that are above the letter.  Thank you.  The letter follows:

[Type your address here]

[Type your congressional representativeís address here]

Dear [your congressional representative]:

I have heard from that funding has not been secured for the Valley Fever Americas Foundation for vaccine research for 2009.  It is vital that you contact Jim Nussle, Director of the Office of Budget and Management, to support the inclusion of $10 million in funding for the Presidentís Fiscal Year 2009 budget for a Valley Fever vaccine.

Section 402 of Title IV of the Tax Relief and Health Care Act of 2006 (P.L. 109-432) authorized a grant program within the U.S. HHS to support the vaccine research.  Everyone who lives in any of the endemic regions, serves in our armed forces, and visits these areas deserves to be able to breathe the air without worrying about contracting this disease.  Coccidioides spp., the biohazard that causes Valley Fever, lives in Arizona, California, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, Texas, and other places outside the United States.

While it is traditionally said that 150,000 Americans are infected with Valley Fever annually, it is also estimated that only 2% of people who contract the disease are ever diagnosed, leaving 98% misdiagnosed or undiagnosed.  In 2006, that meant over 400,000 people in America were infected with this incurable, debilitating and deadly disease.

Mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, infants, teenagers, grandparents and our pets all face the possibility of contracting this federally regulated agent of bioterrorism because everyone needs to breathe.

[Insert your own story here indicating when you (or a person you know or a pet) contracted VF and how it has affected your life and your family.]

Please take the time now to ensure the $10 million will be included in the Presidentís Fiscal Year 2009 budget for the Valley Fever vaccine grant.  Director Nussle can be reached by telephone at (202) 395-4840 or by fax at (202) 395-3888.

If you or your staff have any questions, Kyle Lombardi, Legislative Assistant with Representative Kevin McCarthy, can be contacted for assistance at (202) 225-2915.  American families and visitors need your help to be kept safe from the Valley Fever epidemic.  It should no longer be ignored.


[Your name here]