65 Lung Cancer Survivors and Caregivers Meet with Congress to Advocate for Lifesaving Research, Public Health Infrastructure, Access to Quality Healthcare

American Lung Association volunteers ask members of Congress to take action against lung cancer

Today, more than 65 LUNG FORCE Heroes – people living with lung cancer, their loved ones and advocates from across the country – will meet with members of Congress during the American Lung Association LUNG FORCE Advocacy Day. As a part of the virtual event, LUNG FORCE Heroes will ask lawmakers to support $49 billion in research funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), $11 billion in funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and to protect expanded access to quality, affordable healthcare.

“Lung cancer is the leading cause of death in the U.S., but there is hope. The lung cancer survival rate has increased by a dramatic 33% over the past ten years thanks in part to treatment advances, increased access to healthcare and a new method of early detection,” said Harold Wimmer, National President and CEO of the American Lung Association. “The American Lung Association is committed to doing even more to increase survival rates, and we are honored to have amazing volunteers from across the nation join us in our efforts to end lung cancer.”

Since 2016, hundreds of LUNG FORCE Heroes from across the country have raised their voices to urge their members of Congress to support robust, sustainable and predictable federal funding increases for lung cancer research, as well as quality and affordable healthcare. LUNG FORCE Heroes have succeeded in helping increase NIH lung cancer research funding by over 100% since the inception of LUNG FORCE in 2014. NIH has also funded and conducted research that has led to new treatments that are saving lives today. Since 2016, more than 45 new therapies were approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat lung cancer – giving life and hope to those with lung cancer.

"If I don’t advocate for myself with lung cancer, who will? That is the only way we can find a cure for all lung cancer patients,” said Mike Smith, LUNG FORCE Hero from Fort Mill, South Carolina. “The American Lung Association has been a miracle for me for advocacy, research and education. I am a 5-year cancer fighter living with stage four lung cancer. I live a normal life, work five days a week, go to the gym (YMCA) regularly and am engaged in my three kid’s activities. I have a horrific terminal disease, but I don’t look sick, and I enjoy an active lifestyle.” 

Due to the continued impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2022 Advocacy Day will be conducted virtually to allow this important message to be heard while also protecting their health and safety of patients and caregivers.
The American Lung Association and its LUNG FORCE initiative encourages everyone to advocate for increased NIH and CDC funding and quality, affordable and accessible healthcare with members of Congress in Washington, D.C. Visit LUNGFORCE.org to learn more about LUNG FORCE and how you can contact your members of Congress. 

Media interested in speaking with a LUNG FORCE Hero or an expert about lung cancer and research funding should contact Jill Dale at the American Lung Association at [email protected] or 312-940-7001.

For more information, contact:

Jill Dale
[email protected]

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