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

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

Hendersonville resident and lung cancer survivor, Aaron Hawkins, will travel to Washington, D.C. to meet with his members of Congress during the American Lung Association’s LUNG FORCE Advocacy Day on March 20. As a part of the nationwide event, Hawkins 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).

As an avid runner, Hawkins was understandably shocked when his doctor delivered the news that he had a cancerous tumor in his lung. Fortunately, the cancer was detected early enough that Hawkins was able to undergo a lobectomy to remove the tumor and return to running marathons after a quick recovery. Hawkins credits early detection as the key to his successful journey, and now he is heading to the Capitol in hopes that by sharing story and advocating for increased lung cancer screenings more lives will be saved.

“There is no such thing as a ‘typical” lung cancer patient. I was a healthy, non-smoking marathon runner when I was diagnosed. I was extremely lucky that my cancer was caught early when it was still localized. However, early detection shouldn’t be left up to chance and better detection methods are crucial for increasing an individual’s chance of survival,” said Hawkins.

During Advocacy Day, Hawkins will speak with his U.S. Senators and Representatives to share his personal experience with lung cancer and explain why investments in public health and research funding are important to him.

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.

Hawkins encourages others in Tennessee  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 Hawkins’s story and the LUNG FORCE initiative at LUNGFORCE.org.

For more information, contact:

James A. Martinez
(312) 445-2501
[email protected]

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