Hawaii Resident to Advocate to Defeat Lung Cancer on Capitol Hill
(April 4, 2019) - HONOLULU
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Hawaii resident Alina Choy is heading to Washington, D.C. to fight for the health of all Hawaii residents against lung cancer, the number one cancer killer in the United States.
Choy lives in Waipahu and was originally told she had pneumonia, before a scan revealed that she had Stage 4 lung cancer in 2016.
“The day doctors told me I had lung cancer I actually felt like I had an out of body experience and wondered ‘Why me?’” Choy said. “I was so scared and I asked doctors ‘How long do I have left to live?’”
Screening for the lung cancer can make all the difference, and if lung cancer is caught before it spreads to advanced stages, the likelihood of surviving five years or more improves to 56 percent. Choy faced an uphill battle of targeted chemotherapy treatments. She is currently in remission but watching her lung scans carefully.
Since her diagnosis, Choy has been a staunch advocate for lung health, and this year, she’s going with the American Lung Association to Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, April 10 to ask legislators to fund lung health research.
As an advocate, she’ll urge members of Congress to continue to invest in biomedical research at the National Institutes of Health so there can be better early detection, treatments and cures for lung cancer. She’ll also ask Congress to act to protect affordable, adequate and accessible healthcare for people with pre-existing conditions like lung cancer.
Choy hopes that advocacy around lung cancer can help erase its stigma.
“The most surprising thing to me is how many people get lung cancer who are non-smokers,” Choy said. “I want to bring awareness of how lung cancer affects non-smokers and the dangerous effects of secondhand smoke. We need more funding to be able to do this.”
To learn more about the American Lung Association’s LUNG FORCE and its work to defeat lung cancer, please visit LUNGFORCE.org.
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 coveted 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and a Gold-Level GuideStar Member, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org.
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