Local Lung Cancer Survivor Fights for Research Funding, Quality Healthcare in Washington D.C.
(April 10, 2019) -
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St. Paul resident and lung cancer survivor Renee Marrero 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, Marrero 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, Marrero met with Representative Betty McCullom’s staff and Senator Amy Klobuchar 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. Marrero’s family has experienced first-hand the devastation of lung disease and lung cancer. Her son has asthma and her father suffered from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in the last years of his life. Then starting in 2016, over a span of a little over a year, lung cancer hit 3 out of 5 of her immediate family members. First her sister, a non-smoker, was diagnosed and is still bravely living with stage IV lung cancer. Next, her father was diagnosed with lung cancer and passed away just 6 weeks after his diagnosis in June 2017. Then Marrero, a non-smoker like her sister, was diagnosed and was one of the fortunate few who caught her lung cancer before it had spread.
“I feel so blessed I found it [lung cancer] so early, because I know just how devastating lung cancer is,” she said. “You don’t hear that lung cancer is the number one cancer killer. I want more people to get the chance to catch their lung cancer early like I did and to cure it at any stage. We need more awareness and more funding in order to make that happen.”
There will be more than 3,600 people in Minnesota diagnosed with lung cancer and 2,260 will succumb to the disease in 2019. It’s important to Marrero 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 Minnesota.
Marrero encourages others in Minnesota 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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