Jenny White Joins Lung Cancer Advocates from Every State on Capitol Hill to Fight for More Research Funding
(March 27, 2016) - Nashville, TN
Jenny White of Nashville joined with the American Lung Association's LUNG FORCE initiative and other "LUNG FORCE Heroes" – Americans personally impacted by lung cancer – from every state at the U.S. Capitol to press Tennessee's Senators and Representatives for continued bipartisan momentum toward defeating lung cancer. The visit was on March 16.
During Advocacy Day, Jenny shared her personal experience with lung cancer, explaining:
I wasn't at high risk for lung cancer. I had no risk factors for developing lung cancer. Yet, in October of 2010, I was diagnosed with stage 1A adenocarcinoma, non-small cell lung cancer.
In researching lung cancer, I quickly learned how fortunate I am to have had my lung cancer diagnosed early, when it could be removed with surgery. Chemotherapy and radiation were not necessary.
I could have gone on with my life, having seen this as a little hiccup along my life's journey but I couldn't. I had to use my voice for all of the folks who were not as lucky as I was.
I am grateful to the American Lung Association for giving me a platform to tell my story, to educate and advocate for everyone ever diagnosed with lung cancer.
If you're like me, you might not know that the Federal Government has the most money to fund cancer research. More money than any walk, run or dinner could ever raise.
That's why I went to Washington, DC with the American Lung Association as a Lung Force Hero representing Tennessee.
I joined forces with over 50 other Lung Cancer Heroes to ask our Senators and Representatives to increase the funding of the National Institute of Health (NIH) to $34.5 billion. That sounds like a lot of money but the previous year funding was $32.3 billion. Congress funds the NIH which in turn funds the National Cancer Institute that will then fund promising cancer research.
We live in exciting times when it comes to lung cancer treatment. There have been more breakthroughs in lung cancer treatment over the past 4 years than happened in the past 4 decades. More lung cancer survivors are alive today because of these breakthroughs. Sadly, some are just hoping to live long enough to see the next breakthrough that might halt their disease.
My heart sank when I heard that a drop in funding to the NIH over the past few years has resulted in young researchers being unable to see their ideas and discoveries funded. One of those researchers might hold the key to finding the next lung
cancer treatment, identifying a new genetic defect in lung cancer cell mutations or developing an early diagnostic test.
As I told my representatives, funding the NIH is not about funding research. It's about funding HOPE.
Jenny encourages everyone to advocate for lung cancer research to your members of Congress in Washington, D.C. To learn more, visit LUNGFORCE.org.