Local Lung Cancer Survivor Travels to Washington, D.C. to Urge Lawmakers to Support Lifesaving Research and Public Health Funding

Donna Thompson will join volunteers from across the nation to ask members of Congress to take action to end lung cancer

Havertown resident and two-time lung cancer survivor, LUNG FORCE Hero Donna Thompson, will travel to Washington, D.C. to meet with her members of Congress during the American Lung Association’s LUNG FORCE Advocacy Day on March 20. As a part of the nationwide event, Thompson will join more than 40 other people across the country who have been impacted by lung cancer to ask lawmakers to support $51.3 billion in research funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and $11.6 billion in funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Donna is a two-time lung cancer survivor first diagnosed in 2015 with non-small cell lung cancer in her upper right lung. She was being prescribed asthma medication for her shortness of breath. Her cancer was found during an emergency room visit for chest pain. In 2016, she underwent surgery to remove her upper right lobe and a few surrounding lymph nodes, followed by chemotherapy.

Donna’s body could not tolerate the chemo so her physicians decided to closely monitor with routine follow-up scans every 4-6 months. In 2022, during one of her routine follow-up scans, lung cancer was once again discovered. Donna received a second surgery to remove the tumor in her right lobe and additional testing which found that she had an EGFR biomarker. This biomarker helped her oncologist adjust her chemotherapy and other medicines so that she can now tolerate the treatment this time. Downloadable Image of Donna. (Pictured left).

Donna believes it’s important to speak out about lung cancer and share her story so that others can catch it early when it’s more treatable. “Sharing the unique chain of events that led to my diagnosis has already helped those close to me. Now it is time to share my story to help someone else. Preventive medicine helps early detection. Early detection saves lives,” said Donna.


During Advocacy Day, Donna will visit the offices of Pennsylvania Senator Casey and Fetterman and Representative Boye to share her personal experience with lung cancer and explain why investments in public health and research funding are important to her.

Thousands of LUNG FORCE Heroes from across the country have raised their voices since 2014 to urge their members of Congress in Washington, D.C., to support robust, sustainable and predictable federal funding increases for lung cancer research, prevention, as well as quality and affordable healthcare. LUNG FORCE Heroes have succeeded in helping increase NIH lung cancer research funding by over 130% since the inception of LUNG FORCE in 2014. NIH has also funded research that has led to new treatments that are saving lives today. Since 2016, over 50 new therapies have been approved by the FDA to treat lung cancer – giving life and hope to those impacted by this disease.

Donna encourages others in Pennsylvania to advocate for lung cancer research and healthcare protections by contacting their members of Congress, which they can do at Lung.org/AdvocacyDay. Learn more about Donna Thompson’s story and the LUNG FORCE initiative at LUNGFORCE.org

For more information, contact:

Valerie Gleason
[email protected]

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