Local Artist Uses Profession to Spread Awareness about Lung Cancer During Women’s Lung Health Week
(June 9, 2015)
Art has a way of connecting people who might not normally come together. Kim Argenta uses her love for art as an outlet to heal from her mother’s passing from lung cancer and as a way to educate others about the disease. Argenta sold LUNG FORCE icons at her art studio last week to raise funding and awareness for the national campaign.
Lung cancer is the #1 cancer killer of women, killing almost twice as many women as any other cancer. In fact, statistics show that fewer than half of all women diagnosed with lung cancer survive one year after diagnosis. Anyone can get lung cancer - including women who don’t currently smoke or who have successfully quit smoking. Yet, according to new research from the American Lung Association’s Women’s Lung Health Barometer, only 1 percent of women identify lung cancer as a cancer that is top-of-mind for them.
Argenta’s mom, Margaret, who was known best as, “Mickey,” passed away from lung cancer in December 2013 “My mom was my biggest fan, I wouldn’t be who I am today without my mom,” Kim said. Argenta’s motivation to become more involved with the Lung Association was driven by her knowledge of the lack of funding for lung cancer research. “The number of women who are diagnosed with lung cancer is eye opening,” Argenta said.
Last year, Kim hosted a “To Brush Out Cancer” event, at her art studio Art Ah La Carte, in Batavia. The event raised $2,600. She plans to host the event again during Lung Cancer Awareness month which is coming up in November. “Last year it was such a great success, I hope this year will be even better,” Argenta said.
By hosting events like ”To Brush Out Cancer”, Kim said she hopes it breaks the stigma she feared people would associate with her mother. “I think my mother was afraid what people might think of her because she had lung cancer and that hurts. If I can help other people not feel that way, I will have been successful. Nobody deserves lung cancer, but people need to understand that you don’t have to smoke in order to get it. All lung cancer patients deserve our compassion.”
“The Lung Association is honored to have Kim helping us spread our mission of the importance of lung health for our national LUNG FORCE campaign,” said Jeff Seyler CEO & President of the American Lung Association of the Northeast. “Our LUNG FORCE campaign is working to spread awareness about the importance of preventing lung cancer, especially in women. The statistics prove that this disease is something that needs to be addressed immediately. With the help of Kim and the many others who’ve been touched by lung cancer, I am confident we will be successful in fighting this disease.”