Laura Dern, Kellie Pickler, Valerie Harper Among Notable Voices Kicking Off National Women’s Lung Health Week | American Lung Association

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Laura Dern, Kellie Pickler, Valerie Harper Among Notable Voices Kicking Off National Women’s Lung Health Week

American Lung Association’s LUNG FORCE needs all Americans to share their voices to defeat the number one cancer killer of women

(May 12, 2015)

Today, the American Lung Association's LUNG FORCE initiative is joining forces with Academy Award®-nominated actress, Laura Dern, country music star Kellie Pickler, and Emmy and Golden Globe-winning actress, Valerie Harper, during National Women's Lung Health Week (May 10th -16th) to share their voices in an effort to defeat lung cancer in women.

Every eight minutes, a woman in the United States dies of lung cancer. It is the #1 cancer killer of women, killing almost twice as many women as any other cancer. Yet, awareness is extremely low. Only 1 percent of women cite lung cancer as a women's cancer that is top-of-mind for them, according to the American Lung Association's Women's Lung Health Barometer. Now in its second year, LUNG FORCE, in partnership with national presenting sponsor, CVS Health, is empowering women and men everywhere to share their voices and make lung cancer a public health priority.

"We've made great strides since launching LUNG FORCE last year, however, there's still work to be done," said Harold P. Wimmer, National President and Chief Executive Officer of the American Lung Association. "As the American public's go-to resource for lung health, the American Lung Association has the responsibility to address this urgent health issue. We take that very seriously and are asking all Americans to join us in the fight against lung cancer in women by sharing their voices."

Celebrities Lend Their Voices in New Video
To commemorate National Women's Lung Health Week, LUNG FORCE is debuting a new video starring notable women personally affected by lung cancer including Dern, Harper, Pickler and other lung cancer patients and caregivers.

The video is a statement from public figures and those impacted by lung cancer who are leading by example. They are sharing their personal accounts of how lung cancer has touched their lives to get all Americans to raise their voices and call attention to this deadly disease.

Dern lost her grandfather to lung cancer and famously portrayed Cheryl Strayed's mother, Bobbi Lambrecht, who died of lung cancer, in the film adaptation of Strayed's New York Times bestseller Wild. Dern received a 2015 Academy Award nomination for her performance in the film.

"Through my own experiences and playing Cheryl's mother who died of lung cancer, I felt compelled to learn more about this disease and to educate others," shared Dern. "Our strongest weapon in the fight against lung cancer is our voices. And that’s why I’m lending mine to LUNG FORCE - to make lung cancer a disease people care about and fight against."

Harper understands firsthand why lung cancer must become a priority. She has been surviving the disease since 2009. Given as few as three months to live in 2013, Harper decided to set aside her death sentence, work on her treatment and go on living life as fully as possible. Two years later, she rejoins LUNG FORCE for another year to continue sharing her personal experience with women and men everywhere in an effort to defeat this terrible disease.

Like Harper, country music star, Pickler, has supported LUNG FORCE since the initiative’s launch. She is lending her voice in memory of her grandmother who died of lung cancer just one day after she was diagnosed. Pickler's grandmother played an important role in her life and continues to serve as an inspiration for her work.

CVS/pharmacy's In-Store Fundraising Campaign to Benefit LUNG FORCE
Now through Saturday, May 23, CVS/pharmacy customers can support LUNG FORCE when they fundraising-and-events $1, $3, or more at the register or online at www.cvs.com/lung (all proceeds will support the movement). CVS Health is the National Presenting sponsor of LUNG FORCE.

"An important part of our decision to stop selling tobacco products was our dedication to helping people on their path to better health. Our partnership with the American Lung Association's LUNG FORCE helps us extend that purpose to so many women and their families," said Helena Foulkes, President, CVS/pharmacy. "As we kick off the second year of our LUNG FORCE in-store fundraising campaign, we will continue to make significant strides in helping women understand the prevalence of lung cancer and reaffirm our commitment to helping people lead tobacco-free lives."

Additional Ways to Share Your Voice
The American Lung Association is asking Americans to share their voices in the fight against lung cancer. Visit LUNGFORCE.org to learn how to participate:

  • SHARE: Share your voice on social media using the hashtag #ShareYourVoice and #LUNGFORCE or in one of the following ways:
  • fundraising-and-events: A donation supports the American Lung Association's investment in lung cancer research and public health promotion, including early detection, clinical trials, biomarker testing and more federal research funding, as well as the overall mission of the American Lung Association.
  • WALK: Commit to fundraise and rally friends, neighbors and colleagues to stand together and fight lung cancer at a LUNG FORCE walk. Find out more at LUNGFORCE.org/walk

LUNG FORCE Hero Awards
During National Women's Lung Health Week, the American Lung Association will present awards to LUNG FORCE Heroes, individuals whose efforts and personal lung cancer stories have made a significant impact on women's lives and empowered others to share their voices. The LUNG FORCE Heroes program is nationally sponsored by Lilly Oncology. This year's LUNG FORCE Hero Award recipients include:

  • Former Washington, D.C. news anchor and reporter Greta Kreuz who survived lung cancer
  • Actress Shantel VanSanten who lost her grandmother to lung cancer
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