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Carolyn Kaster, Associated Press
Patti DiMiceli of Annapolis, Md., walks with a sign in front of the White House early, Friday, Dec. 23, 2011, in Washington, to honor the 22 million people who have died of cancer forty years after President Nixon declared war on the disease.

WASHINGTON — Forty years after then-President Richard Nixon declared war on cancer, Patti DiMiceli is staging a vigil at the White House to persuade another president to keep up the fight.

The Annapolis, Md., woman held a 22-hour vigil outside the executive mansion Thursday and Friday to honor the 22 million people she said have died from cancer since Nixon signed the legislation to boost national efforts against the malignancy.

Her daughter, Amber Calistro, died from the disease at the age of four in 1980.

DiMiceli says she is also honoring the victims' loved ones and those working to find a cure.

DiMiceli says she is representing the "millions of people suffering" and wants President Barack Obama to develop a comprehensive national plan to prevent, detect, treat and cure cancer.