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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

Iowa resident and lung cancer survivor Michelle Neels Scheper 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, Scheper 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, Scheper met with staff from the offices of Senator Chuck Grassley, Senator Joni Ernst, Representative Dave Loebsack and Representative Cynthia Axne 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. In 2015, Scheper was in the testing process for bariatric surgery when the doctors found a mass on her lungs. Another test confirmed that it was lung cancer that had metastasized to her brain. Scheper continues to receive treatment for lung cancer, but that doesn’t stop her from working as an investigative paralegal, traveling the country on her motorcycle and advocating for lung cancer.

“Without recent research, I would not be so fortunate. I don’t wish cancer on anyone, but I definitely got a new heart on living,” she said.

There will be are over 2,410 people in Iowa diagnosed with lung cancer and 1,600 will succumb to the disease in 2019. It’s important to Scheper 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 Iowa.

Scheper encourages others in Iowa 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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