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

Patricia Franklin, a nurse practitioner, will join volunteers from across the nation to ask members of Congress to take action to end lung cancer

Traskwood resident and lung cancer advocate, Patricia Franklin, 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, Franklin 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).

Lung cancer changed the trajectory of Franklin’s life. In February 2008, her mother suddenly began losing weight and became fatigued. She had quit smoking more than twenty years prior and was hospitalized thinking it was pneumonia. After a biopsy discovered it was lung cancer, she developed blood clots and passed away 19 days after she had entered the hospital.

“We were all devastated by the speed of it all,” Franklin recounted. “My dad had just gone through a knee replacement and his life changed forever, as she died while he was in rehab.”

In 2010, Franklin became a nurse practitioner working with patients with lung cancer, and in 2014, she helped launch a lung cancer screening program in her hospital. Knowing the importance of screening, she encouraged her older sister who smoked to get screened. The scan discovered the cancer early, and she had a minimally invasive surgery. Her sister has been cancer free for five years and quit smoking the day she saw her surgeon.

Franklin added: “As a nurse practitioner working with patients with lung cancer, and later the lung cancer screening program, my emotions were raw at times remembering my journey with my mother. But it’s become my passion to see lung cancer caught early and to discuss smoking cessation with all who need it. Saving lives is the priority.”

During Advocacy Day, Franklin will speak with her U.S. senators and representative to share her personal experiences 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.

Franklin encourages others in Arkansas 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 Patricia Franklin’s story and the LUNG FORCE initiative at LUNGFORCE.org.

For more information, contact:

Victoria O'Neill
(312) 273-5890
[email protected]

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