Patrick Swayze, Beast

Michael Muller /A & E

Patrick Swayze is hoping to kickstart the cancer fight in Congress.

The stricken star has penned a letter to legislators, pleading with them to increase funding for research into the disease—including helping find a cure for his own pancreatic cancer.

"With Congress about to decide how much money to include for medical research as part of the economic stimulus package, the time has come to take my personal fight to a larger stage," Swayze wrote in an open letter published in Sunday's Washington Post. "My message to our senators and representatives is simple: Vote for the maximum funding to let the National Institutes of Health fight cancer and other life-threatening illnesses. It's not only good for our nation's health; it's also good for our economic well-being."

The 56-year-old actor and other cancer fighters are seeking $10 billion, which would, he says, create more jobs for a worthy cause.

"When I was growing up in Texas, my family had a simple response for challenges like this: 'Stop talking about it, and do something about it,' " he wrote. "My hope is that some day, the words 'a cure' won't be followed by the words 'is impossible.' "

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