Austin resident and lung cancer survivor, Lida Zolno, met with her members of Congress today in Washington, D.C. during the American Lung Association’s LUNG FORCE Advocacy Day. As a part of the nationwide event, Zolno joined more than 40 other people across the country who have been impacted by lung cancer to ask 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.
Zolno was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer, non-small cell adenocarcinoma. Despite her initial shock and disbelief, she has undergone treatments such as radiation and targeted oral drugs that have helped her manage the disease and maintain a good quality of life. She emphasizes the importance of funding research and new treatments so that others may have a better chance of beating cancer.
“I know in many ways I have been lucky, with great healthcare, insurance, and the ability to travel for treatment, if need be. I know not everyone is so blessed, which is why we need to fund programs that help all of us with this disease,” said Zolno.
During Advocacy Day, Zolno spoke with staff from the offices of U.S. Senators Ted Cruz and John Cornyn 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.
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.