Clinical psychologist and LUNG FORCE Hero Betsy Stratton grew up on a farm in Chester County, Pennsylvania alongside four siblings, including her twin Jane and their oldest sister Hannah. They were a close-knit family, whose world was rocked when Hannah was diagnosed with bronchial adenoma in the early 2000s. Bronchial adenoma is a rare type of cancer that can start in the mucous glands and ducts of the lungs. Following a three-year fight, Hannah succumbed to the disease.
“Hannah loved things of beauty,” shared Betsy. “She was a very quiet and humble person. Losing her was devastating.”
While dealing with her grief, a co-worker introduced Betsy to the American Lung Association’s LUNG FORCE initiative and inspired her to get involved with Turquoise Takeover, the annual week-long event uniting Americans to raise awareness and provide hope for those affected by lung cancer. Turquoise Takeover sets out to turn landmarks and buildings across our nation turquoise, LUNG FORCE’s signature color.
This year’s Turquoise Takeover took place the week of May 9-15, which coincided with Mother’s Day. For the past many years, Betsy and her twin Jane pooled their own funds to light up Boathouse Row, a central icon of Philadelphia. “Turquoise Takeover has been the perfect way to memorialize Hannah,” Betsy added. “It’s just so beautiful, like she was.”
Betsy was joined by thousands of LUNG FORCE Heroes and supporters, each showcasing their turquoise spirit in unique ways. Many posted selfies wearing turquoise on various social media channels; others enjoyed the spectacular display of turquoise-lit locations in cities near them. In addition to Philadelphia’s Boathouse Row, there were more than 20 total illuminations – from Niagara Falls and One World Trade Center to Merchandise Mart and the Hancock Building in Chicago.
In addition, Academy Award-winning actress and advisor to the Lung Association board of directors, Laura Dern, kicked off our 2021 Nationwide LUNG FORCE Walk and Run/Walk season during Turquoise Takeover week. She hosted a virtual team of her own, and encouraged supporters to participate in a local community Walk or join her virtual Walk team.
Furthering the LUNG FORCE initiative goals of education and empowerment, our Lung Cancer Patient Virtual Meetup on May 11 was well attended by patients and caregivers who were interested in learning more about the latest trends, resources and research surrounding lung cancer. Next up is our LUNG FORCE Expo on June 24, which is geared toward healthcare professionals. Continuing education credits will be available for registered nurses, respiratory therapists and Certified Health Education Specialists.
Find out how you can get involved throughout the year at LUNGFORCE.org.
Blog last updated: June 2, 2021