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Albuquerque Resident Visits Capitol Hill to Advocate for Robust Lung Cancer Research Funding, Quality Health Care for Lung Cancer Patients

(May 9, 2017) -

Rio Rancho, New Mexico, resident Mikey Padilla traveled to Washington, D.C., last month to meet with members of the U.S. Congress and advocate for continued investments in research at the National Institutes of Health and quality and affordable healthcare for those living with lung cancer. Through the American Lung Association’s LUNG FORCE initiative, Padilla stood alongside other LUNG FORCE Heroes - those who have been personally affected by lung cancer - to make their voices heard so that more lives are saved.

During Advocacy Day, Padilla met with Sen. Martin Heinrich, Sen. Tom Udall, and Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham to share his personal experience with lung cancer and explain why patients need quality, affordable healthcare and why now is the time to build on advances in cancer research if we want to defeat lung cancer. Padilla’s mother was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2015 and continues to fight against it.

“Through my mom's story I also conveyed why sustained research funding and access to quality and affordable healthcare continues to be critical,” Padilla said. “If it were not for these two things, my mom's situation would be much more grim. I brought a face and a name; the life of my amazing mom, to the forefront of why it is so important to bring heightened awareness to this terrible disease. It was very powerful to share my mom's story, in her honor, and I know that I made a lasting impression by doing so.”

He encourages others in Albuquerque and New Mexico to advocate for lung cancer research and healthcare coverage for people with lung cancer by contacting their members of Congress. To learn more about Padilla’s story, and the LUNG FORCE initiative, visit

For media interested in learning more about LUNG FORCE or scheduling an interview with Padilla or a lung cancer expert, contact Heather Mangan at [email protected] or 312-801-7631.


About the American Lung Association in New Mexico 

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 the newly redesigned website:

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