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November Through The Lens

December 1, 2015
Bilirakis Blog

November was a wonderful month, reminding us to be grateful for the many privileges we have. It is truly an honor to serve Florida’s twelfth district. My many meetings with constituents, local businesses, Veterans, advocates, and families served as a reminder of how lucky I am. Here are some highlights from November:

My friend Max stopped by to present the 2015 Congressional Leadership RareVoice Award. I also gave him a gift – a copy of the Congressional Record in whichI thank him for his help advocating for rare diseases. It is truly an honor to be a part of such an important cause. Rare diseases affect so many in our nation, but they do not get the attention they deserve. Max is working to help change that. He has been a huge help in the fight for #‎Cures2015 and serves as an inspiration to us all. We must continue to encourage more research and help raise awareness for these diseases.

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Likewise, it was so good to see Noah Coughlan again. Noah last stopped by D.C. during his run across the country earlier this year to help raise awareness for rare diseases. He has an incredible story and it has been an honor to work with him to help patients with rare diseases. I gave him a copy of my statement in the official Congressional Record acknowledging his herculean efforts –it is the least I can do to thank him!

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I had the opportunity to tour the All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg. This state-of-the-art facility was named in the top 50 children’s hospitals by U.S. News and World Report and was ranked 26th for Cardiology and Heart Surgery. I recently introduced legislation to further their efforts to help those with congenital heart defects. My bipartisan bill raises awareness of the continuing impact congenital heart defects have throughout patients’ lifespans, promotes more research at NIH, and encourages the development of lifelong, specialized care for patients with a congenital heart defect.

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It was such an honor to be a part of the Oldsmar Veterans Day ceremony. Such a beautiful day and a wonderful ceremony to thank our nations heroes! I am proud to represent the Tampa Bay community - a community that truly understands the importance of honoring our Veterans.

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The Humane Bond Caucus, a congressional caucus I founded and co-chair, held a Humane Table Dinner to honor those who work hard every day to provide us food to nourish our families. We recognized farmers and producers who have made the humane choice for their animals, raising them under the best conditions possible.


I participated in #NoShaveNovember to raise awareness for cancer. It is truly a great cause and this beard has been a great conversation starter, giving me the opportunity to let people know what they can do to help patients & families affected by cancer.

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