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American Lung Association Congratulates NASCAR Driver Mackena Bell on Advancing to the Nationwide Series

First Woman Graduate of the NASCAR Drive to Diversity Program to Race in Phoenix on November 8, 2014

(November 7, 2014) - Phoenix

Mackena Bell, NASCAR driver and Honorary Spokesperson for LUNG FORCE, a national movement fighting lung cancer in women, will be competing in the NASCAR Nationwide series DAV200 "Honoring America's" Veterans' race at Phoenix International Raceway on November 8, 2014.

The 24-year-old is an inspirational model for young women. Mackena is the only female graduate of NASCAR's Drive to Diversity Program to race in the Nationwide series. She is also deeply philanthropic and has joined the American Lung Association's new national movement, LUNG FORCE.

Having started driving a kart at age 10, Mackena was encouraged by her beloved grandfather—"Papa"—whom she lost to lung cancer. "He never missed any of my races," she says.

In tribute to her grandfather, Mackena is raising money and awareness through LUNG FORCE Team Mackena. "We are in a race for our lives," she says. "Help us win the race by contributing to my team."

Lung cancer is the #1 cancer killer of women. Yet only one percent of women say the disease is even on their radar, according to the American Lung Association's inaugural Women's Lung Health Barometer—a survey that measured women's awareness, knowledge and perceptions about lung cancer.

"Despite its overwhelming impact, it is clear that too few women are aware that anyone can get lung cancer," said Harold Wimmer, National President and Chief Executive Officer of the American Lung Association. "Voices like Mackena Bell's, who has been personally impacted by this disease are important to raise awareness of lung cancer. We are dedicated to increasing the Lung Association's investment in lung cancer research and are pushing to increase the investment in cancer research at the National Institutes of Health."

Launched earlier this year, LUNG FORCE unites women against lung cancer and for lung health, encouraging them to raise their voices for change. Through nationwide efforts, LUNG FORCE is making lung cancer in women a public health priority, driving policy change and increasing research funding.

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