Local Lung Cancer Advocate Fights for Research Funding, Quality Healthcare in Washington D.C.
(April 10, 2019) -
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Missouri resident and lung cancer caregiver Kelly Engelman traveled to Washington, D.C., this week to meet with her members of Congress to demand action. Through the American Lung Association’s LUNG FORCE initiative, Engelman stood alongside others personally affected by lung cancer to advocate for biomedical research funding and to ask Congress to protect affordable, adequate and accessible healthcare for people with pre-existing conditions, including lung cancer.
During Advocacy Day, Engelman met with Senator Roy Blunt, Representative Blaine Luetkemeyer’s staff, and Senator Josh Hawley’s staff to share her personal experience with lung cancer and explain why lung cancer research funding and healthcare protections for those with pre-existing conditions is important to her. After being diagnosed with the flu and pneumonia, Engelman’s mother was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer in 2014. By the time it was caught, the cancer had spread to her brain, lymph nodes and her kidney. She began treatment, but just three months after being diagnosed with lung cancer, her mother succumbed to the disease.
“We have got to fight to find a cure for lung cancer, and we need to help those who aren't sure where else to turn,” she said. “I advocate for the American Lung Association as a means of saying thank you, and as a way to let others know they are not alone.”
There will be are more 5,490 people in Missouri diagnosed with lung cancer and 2,260 will succumb to the disease in 2019. It’s important to Engelman 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 Missouri.
Engelman encourages others in Missouri to advocate for lung cancer research and healthcare coverage for people with pre-existing conditions by contacting their members of Congress. Learn more about her story and the LUNG FORCE initiative at 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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