Today, Michigan resident and lung cancer survivor, Alonzita Henderson, met with her members of Congress in Washington, D.C during the American Lung Association’s LUNG FORCE Advocacy Day.
As a part of the nationwide event, Henderson joined more than 40 other people across the country who have been impacted by lung cancer toask lawmakers to support $51 billion in research funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), $11.6 billion in funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and to support and protect Medicaid.
Henderson was diagnosed with stage three lung cancer and later the cancer metastasized into her gluteus muscle, resulting in a stage IV lung cancer diagnosis. She had to endure a lot of physical and emotional pain throughout her treatment, but she persevered through it and received the necessary care to overcome her illness.
“In October of 2022, I was given the good news that my cancer was in remission. At present, I'm back to work, and I'm back to attending my granddaughters' activities, and caring for my mother.”
During Advocacy Day, Henderson spoke with U.S. Senators Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow and U.S. Representatives Elissa Slotkin and Haley Stevens to share her personal experience with lung cancer and explain why investments in public health, research funding and quality and affordable healthcare are important to her.
The American Lung Association launched LUNG FORCE Advocacy Day in 2016 to ask members of Congress to support robust, sustainable and predictable federal funding increases for lung cancer research, prevention and quality and affordable healthcare. As a part of Advocacy Day, LUNG FORCE Heroes have succeeded in helping increase NIH lung cancer research funding by over 115%.
Since 2016, more than 50new therapies have been approved by the FDA to treat lung cancer—giving more hope to those impacted by this disease. In 2022, Heroes successfully urged Congress to extend funding for tax credits so more than three million Americans were able to keep affordable healthcare coverage through the federal and state marketplaces.
Henderson encourages others in Michigan 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 Henderson’s 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 education, advocacy and research. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to champion clean air for all; to improve the quality of life for those with lung disease and their families; and to create a tobacco-free future. For more information about the American Lung Association, which has a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and is a Platinum-Level GuideStar Member, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org. To support the work of the American Lung Association, find a local event at Lung.org/events.