Oregon girl who lobbied Congress dies

Dec. 30, 2007 at 5:22 PM
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PORTLAND, Ore., Dec. 30 (UPI) -- Eight-year-old Jenessa Boey Byers, who lobbied Congress for more money to fight children's cancer, has died in Oregon.

Byers, a Corvallis girl featured on ABC's "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," died Friday, at a hospital in Portland of complications of pneumonia, her family's pastor, Russ Stiverson, told The Oregonian.

Boey, who had rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare form of childhood cancer, made headlines last summer when the TV show "Extreme Makeover" built her family a new home in Corvallis.

Boey lobbied Congress to pass a Conquer Childhood Cancer Act to increase funding for cancer research and Oregon lawmakers are working on a similar bill now, Stiverson said, calling Byers "wise beyond her years."

"Her spirit just caught fire, it was just very contagious," Stiverson said.

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