Hoover Resident Visits Capitol Hill to Advocate for Robust Lung Cancer Research Funding, Quality and Affordable Health Care for Lung Cancer Patients
Tina Castello Joins Force of Volunteers from Across the Country in D.C. to Advocate for Lung Cancer Patients
(March 23, 2018) - HOOVER, Ala.
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Hoover resident and lung cancer caregiver and advocate Tina Castello traveled to Washington, D.C., last week to meet with members of the U.S. Congress to demand action. Through the American Lung Association's LUNG FORCE initiative, Castello stood alongside others personally affected by lung cancer to advocate for $38.1 billion in Fiscal Year 2019 in funding for the National Institutes of Health for better treatments and early detection for lung cancer, and to ask Congress to act to protect quality and affordable healthcare for people with pre-existing conditions, including lung cancer.
During Advocacy Day, Castello met with Senators Richard Shelby and Doug Jones to share her personal experience with lung cancer and explain why Congress must act to pass bipartisan legislation to stabilize healthcare marketplaces and tell the Trump Administration to stop a proposed rule that will hurt people with pre-existing conditions.
"Like most people, I never thought about lung cancer on a daily basis, and so I was in utter shock when my father was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2011 and then my husband in 2014," Castello said. "The heartbreak of losing first my father then my husband inspired me to share my story to raise awareness about lung cancer. The American Lung Association's LUNG FORCE initiative has introduced me to a welcoming community of others working to end lung cancer, but we need more support to ensure that those facing this disease have quality, affordable healthcare and that we continue to advance treatment options and new methods of early detection through research funding. No one should have to lose a loved one to lung cancer."
There will be are over 4,190 people in Alabama diagnosed with lung cancer and 3,140 will succumb to the disease in 2018. The LUNG FORCE "State of Lung Cancer" shows how the toll of lung cancer varies state by state, and Alabama ranks 41 out of 50 states and the District of Columbia with a lung cancer incidence of 71.7 per 100,000. It's important to Tina Castello to share her story with lawmakers and others so that more can be done to help lung cancer patients and their caregivers throughout the United States and in Alabama.
"The LUNG FORCE Advocacy Day was a reminder of how devastating lung cancer is, but it also demonstrates that there is hope," said Castello. "It's critical that we focus on finding new treatments that can save lives and I hope Congress continues to pay attention to this disease and increase federal funding for critical research at the National Institutes of Health as well as ensure people with lung cancer have quality, affordable healthcare and aren't denied care for having a pre-existing condition."
Tina Castello encourages others in Alabama to advocate for lung cancer research and healthcare coverage for people with lung cancer by contacting their members of Congress, and learning more about the state of lung cancer in Alabama at Lung.org/solc. To learn more about Tina Castello's story and the LUNG FORCE initiative, visit LUNGFORCE.org.
For media interested in learning more about LUNG FORCE or scheduling an interview with Tina Castello or a lung cancer expert, contact Britney Reddick, Britney.Reddick@Lung.org, 470-233-7030.
About the American Lung Association
The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease, through research, education and advocacy. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to improve the air we breathe; to reduce the burden of lung disease on individuals and their families; and to eliminate tobacco use and tobacco-related diseases. For more information about the American Lung Association, a holder of the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Guide Seal, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org.