Local Lung Cancer Advocate Fights for Research Funding, Quality Healthcare in Washington D.C.
Gregory Laridis joins volunteers from every state in D.C. to advocate for lung cancer patients
(April 15, 2019) - MESA, Ariz.
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Arizona resident and lung cancer advocate Gregory Laridis traveled to Washington, D.C., this week to meet with his members of Congress to demand action. Through the American Lung Association’s LUNG FORCE initiative, Laridis 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, Laridis met with staff from the offices of U.S. Senators Krysten Sinema and Martha McSally; and staff from the offices of U.S. Congressman Andy Biggs and Greg Stanton to share his personal experience with lung cancer and explain why lung cancer research funding and healthcare protections for those with pre-existing conditions is important to his experience. His wife of 35 years, Nancy, was diagnosed stage 4 lung cancer in 2012. This diagnosis came four months after receiving a clean bill of health at her annual physical and having no symptoms of the cancer.
“Screening is critical, whether you are a smoker or not,” he said. “The statistics are staggering. Educate yourself and discuss screening with your doctor just as you would with prostate, breast or colon cancer.”
There will be more than 4,200 people in Arizona diagnosed with lung cancer and 2,630 will succumb to the disease in 2019. It’s important to Laridis to share his 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 Arizona.
“I was honored to represent the American Lung Association, Americans that suffer from lung disease including lung cancer, my family and of course my late wife Nancy. This event was very therapeutic for me, having lost my wife on April 9, 2018 to lung cancer,” said Laridid.
“The opportunity to be in Washington DC to meet with US Senators, Congress and their staff one year to the day after losing my wife was a blessing. I thank the Lung Association for this opportunity and I will continue to represent this cause moving forward,” he said.
Laridis encourages others in Arizona to advocate for lung cancer research and healthcare coverage for people with pre-existing conditions by contacting their members of Congress. Learn more about his 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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