LUNG FORCE Walk Participant Strives to Bring Lung Cancer Awareness to Hispanic Community | American Lung Association

LUNG FORCE Walk Participant Strives to Bring Lung Cancer Awareness to Hispanic Community

(June 10, 2015)

Ever since finding out she had lung cancer eight years ago, Nancy Vandespool, of Queens, wasn’t sure anybody would understand her diagnosis. However, since she heard about the three-mile LUNG FORCE Walk in New York City, Vandespool has felt like she has something to connect to. “Something so simple changed my life,” says Nancy.” It gets lonely; you think there is nobody out there that knows what you’re going through. I wasn’t able to connect with anyone, so this walk means a lot to me.” Nancy will participate in the Lung Association’s LUNG FORCE Walk in New York City on Saturday, May 16 at Pier 16, South Street Seaport.  

Nancy went to the doctor with severe coughing and back pain. After initially suspecting kidney stones, Nancy’s doctors conducted a CT-scan and delivered the news she had lung cancer. “I couldn’t believe what they were telling me, I never smoked a day in my life,” Vandespool said. 

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. LUNG FORCE is a national health education movement with the singular mission of uniting women to stand together against lung cancer and for lung health. 

“The Lung Association is honored to have Nancy participating in our first LUNG FORCE Walk in New York City,” said Jeff Seyler, CEO & President of the American Lung Association of the Northeast. “Nobody deserves lung cancer, but it’s important for the public to understand that you don’t have to smoke to get the disease. Stories like Nancy’s are what the LUNG FORCE campaign is all about. The Lung Association is dedicated to increasing awareness and advocacy for lung cancer among women. We wish Nancy the best in her recovery and hope to see her at our future LUNG FORCE Walks.” 

In remission for four years, Nancy is hoping her story will inspire others to learn more about lung cancer, especially those in the Hispanic community. “Coming to this country when I was 26 years-old from Puerto Rico, I barely knew the language, let alone anything about lung cancer,” explained Nancy. “Now, I hope other Spanish-speaking people will want to learn more about this and get involved. A lot of times we don’t know where to go and now we have something to learn from,” Vandespool said. 

Registration for the LUNG FORCE Walk: New York City begins at 9:30 a.m. The walk will start at 10:30 a.m. The LUNG FORCE Walk is sponsored by Medtronic Inc., Maimonides Medical Center, Boehringer Ingelheim, Kindred Healthcare and Lilly Oncology. Poland Spring is also a generous sponsor of the LUNG FORCE Walk in New York City. For more information contact Rebecca Silver Fisher at 917.210.5648 or e-mail [email protected] To register for the walk visit 


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