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Monique F., IN

It was the summer of 1979. I was 4 years old and my maternal grandfather, daddy as we called him succumbed to his battle with lung cancer. My siblings, cousins and I were in the back bedroom of my grandparent’s house when we heard a loud gasp come from our grandparent’s bedroom when “daddy” took his last breath.

“Daddy” had never been a large man physically but is still the biggest man I have ever encountered even at the age of 47. My little eyes watched as daddy laid in that hospital bed which had been set up when it was deemed that there was nothing that the doctors could do for him. He laid there for what seemed like an eternity to a 4-year-old as he withered away into a shell of himself.

He no longer came in from work and played with me, no longer left old coffee on the nightstand that I could sip! He no longer put us kids in his pickup truck for a ride. He was no longer able to be daddy, a father, breadwinner, or husband.

Fast forward to 2023, I often wonder how my grandfather’s cancer diagnosis would be different now than it had been in 1979. In 2023, we have made great strides in early diagnosis, screenings, and treatment. A lung cancer diagnosis does not have to be a death sentence now.

Lung cancer screening is key to early diagnosis, and early diagnosis saves lives. Sustained investments in research has let to advances in treatment.

I ask for your support to protect Medicaid, fund the CDC at $11 billion to rebuild healthier communities and protect our nation's health from disease, including lung cancer and fund the National Institute of Health at $51 billion in funding for the NIH for FY24 fiscal year 24 so that we can have better treatments, early detection and ultimately a cure for lung cancer.

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