Local Lung Cancer Advocate Fights for Research Funding, Quality Healthcare in Washington D.C.
Sarah Pearson joins volunteers from every state in D.C. to advocate for lung cancer patients
(April 11, 2019) - SALT LAKE CITY, Utah
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Utah resident and lung cancer advocate Sarah Pearson 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, Pearson 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, Pearson met with staff from the offices of U.S. Senators Mitt Romney and Mike Lee; and staff from the office of U.S. Congressman Chris Stewart 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. Pearson advocates for lung cancer research in honor of her mother. In 2017, Pearson found out that her mother, who had never smoked, had stage 4 lung cancer. Just two months later, she succumbed to the disease.
“I just wish we could have found it sooner and maybe gotten it treated. You just don't think about getting tested when you aren't even a smoker and have no family history of it,” she said.
There will be more than 700 people in Utah diagnosed with lung cancer and approximately 400 will succumb to the disease in 2019. It’s important to Pearson 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 Utah.
“I just had an incredible day in Washington D.C. on Capitol Hill sharing my experience with lung cancer to my Congressmen and advocating for NIH funding, as well as protection for patients with pre-existing conditions. No one deserves lung cancer, but everyone is at risk for lung cancer,” said Pearson.
Pearson encourages others in Utah 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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