Donations to the American Lung Association come in many shapes and sizes. You may make a one-time donation or set up a monthly gift. You might create a memorial giving page in honor or memory of a loved one. You can raise money through events, like our Fight For Air Climbs or LUNG FORCE Walks. You can offer your unique perspective with DIY fundraising. But no matter how you contribute, we are committed to making your dollars go as far as possible. We invest 90 cents of every dollar donated to our program services.
Gifts to our organization enable research, education and advocacy to support those living with lung cancer, and chronic lung diseases like asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). But what does that money really do? Take a look.
1. Funding Lifesaving Research
Funding research has long been a cornerstone of the Lung Association's fight against lung disease. Your donation makes it possible for researchers to find better early detection methods, treatments and even cures for lung disease. This includes our Airways Clinical Research Centers, the nation’s largest nonprofit network of clinical research centers dedicated to asthma and COPD.
Marcia Goldberg, M.D. is an infectious disease expert at Massachusetts General Hospital who has benefitted from our Awards and Grants program. As a recipient of our COVID-19 and Respiratory Virus Research Award, the Lung Association has assisted in funding her study which identified more than 250 proteins associated with disease severity. Among them are several inflammatory and some non-inflammatory proteins, a few of which had never been described. This new knowledge could lead to more effective treatments for COVID-19.
“My interest primarily lies in identifying different immunological profiles to determine why some people develop severe COVID-19 disease—even go on to die from it—while others don’t,” said Dr. Goldberg.
This is just one example of the many researchers that we support through our Awards and Grants program. To learn more about our research program, visit Lung.org/research.
2. Reducing Health Disparities
Ensuring access to quality and affordable healthcare for everyone is a top priority of the Lung Association. We are working to provide screening and cessation services to communities disproportionately affected by lung cancer and ensuring equitable access to recommended respiratory vaccinations, including COVID-19 vaccines.
National volunteer medical spokesperson for the American Lung Association, Dr. Juanita Mora, continues to focus on her work for the Hispanic and Latino immigrant community and essential workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We distributed more than 500 facemasks to essential workers in the Pilsen [Chicago] neighborhood and masked essential workers. The paleta man, the elote man, the tamale lady, restaurant workers because they are all important. The Lung Association taught me the gift of advocacy. Doing more work for others,” she said.
Learn more about how we are changing health disparities.
3. Providing Lung Health Education, Training and Community
At the beginning of a lung disease diagnosis, many patients and their families feel devastated and seek out resources to help them understand and cope with their diagnosis. The Lung Association provides all this and more, with online peer-to-peer communities and free support available through the Lung HelpLine, staffed by respiratory therapists. When Midge Wilson was diagnosed with COPD, her need for answers led her to the Lung Association. After learning to advocate for herself and manage her chronic lung condition, she decided to share her knowledge with others by joining the American Lung Association’s COPD Patient Advisory Group.
The Lung Association also provides lung health professionals with training and education to better serve their patients. When Lisa Penziner realized that there was a need for a Better Breathers Club in her community because of the many people experiencing long-COVID symptoms, she reached out to the Lung Association for the resources she would need. “I decided to start the first post-COVID support group on Zoom. The response was overwhelming,” she said. The idea caught on, and now, Better Breathers Clubs around the country are offering support to individuals suffering from long COVID.
Find out more about the education and training we offer.
4. Creating a Tobacco-Free Future
Helping hundreds of thousands of people quit smoking and vaping and advocating for policies that reduce tobacco use and protect lung health for all Americans is one of the Lung Association’s main missions. One success story is Kim Murphy who was unable to quit tobacco until she joined Freedom from Smoking (FFS). “It not only changed the way I thought about smoking, but it changed the way I thought about quitting. Once I became aware of my behaviors around smoking and why I did it, I was able to change,” Kim said.
Kim was so pleased with the success Freedom From Smoking brought her, that she has stayed involved in her local class, and is now an FFS instructor, helping others the way FFS helped her. “It's giving people the choice to quit through building them up and showing them that they CAN do it. I believe this is an amazing program. This program changed my life and saved my life.”
Freedom From Smoking has helped hundreds of thousands of people quit smoking for good and is now available in a variety of formats. Learn more at Lung.org/FFS.
5. Championing Clean Air
We are advocating for policies that support clean indoor and outdoor air and address climate change to help people breathe easier. Our annual “State of the Air” report raises awareness about the nation’s air quality and calls out the risks to the more than 4 in 10 Americans living with unhealthy air. This year the Lung Association also released two reports, “Zeroing in on Healthy Air” and “Delivering Clean Air,” which explained the health and climate benefits of switching to zero-emission transportation and electricity. In addition, the Lung Association continues to work at the federal and state levels to ensure clean air for all. Learn more about our initiatives and how you can get involved.
6. Defeating Lung Cancer
Our Saved By the Scan campaign has reached 850,000 people at high risk for lung cancer. By detecting lung cancer while it is more curable, we can save more lives. In fact, if lung cancer is caught before it spreads, the likelihood of surviving 5 years or more after diagnosis improves to 61%. Last year, lung cancer screening eligibility expanded after the U.S. Preventative Services Taskforce (USPSTF) updated its lung cancer screening guidelines.
“With lung cancer, early detection is key,” says LUNG FORCE Hero, Denise L, who after 35 years as a smoker was Saved By The Scan when she saw an American Lung Association billboard about getting screened for lung cancer. “By dropping the age from 55 to 50,” she says, “more people can get screened earlier, which means catching the disease earlier, better treatment options and lives saved.”
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Blog last updated: November 23, 2022