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Local Lung Cancer Survivor Fights for Research Funding, Quality Healthcare in Washington D.C.

(April 10, 2019) -

For more information please contact:

James Martinez
[email protected]
(312) 445-2501

Chicagoland resident and lung cancer survivor, Susan Warmerdam, traveled to Washington, D.C. this week to meet with her Members of Congress to request action. Through the American Lung Association’s LUNG FORCE initiative, Warmerdam 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, Warmerdam met with Senator Tammy Duckworth, Representative Rodney Davis, Representative Darin LaHood and Senator Dick Durbin’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 are important to her. Warmerdam was diagnosed with Stage 4 Lung Cancer that had gone undetected for several years. She was told it was inoperable and incurable and was given just a one percent chance of surviving five years. Yet, she was young, fit, had never smoked and felt fine (besides an allergy-like cough, which led to her diagnosis). Due to her extensive research, dietary changes and a tremendous unexpected response to an experimental targeted cancer treatment drug (thanks to research), she was able to have three surgeries to remove the cancerous sites and has been off all treatment for five years.

“I have made it my passion to bring as much awareness to lung cancer and raise as much money for research as I can,” said Warmerdam. “I want to help prevent this horrible disease, that took my father's life in 1999 and several friends' lives since then, from affecting others. I am a spokesperson for the American Lung Association, who has given me a platform from which to advocate and fundraise, in hopes that my story of survival will soon be the norm and not the exception.”

In 2019, more than 9,130 people in Illinois will be diagnosed with lung cancer and 5,940 will succumb to the disease. It is important to Warmerdam to share her story with lawmakers and other influencers so that more action is taken to help lung cancer patients and their caregivers throughout the United States and in Illinois.

Warmerdam encourages others in Chicago 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


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:

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