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

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

St. Charles Parish resident and lung cancer advocate, Ellen Siedel, will once again 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, Siedel 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).

This is Siedel’s fifth time on the Hill advocating for those impacted by lung cancer. Siedel, a pharmacy technician, is driven by the memory of her mother, Karen, who was diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer in late 2013. By the time she was diagnosed, the cancer had metastasized to her lymph nodes and adrenal gland. Siedel had been living in Illinois and moved home with her fiancé to care for her mother shortly after. She had a little over a year with her mother before she passed at the age of 58 in 2015.

“There are so many things that my mother isn't going to be here for—my wedding, watching her grandkids grow up, holding my hand as I give birth,” said Siedel. “Every day I wish I had more time. More time to laugh, more time to cry, more time to fight, more time to spend with her, hold her, hug her, kiss her.”

She added: “So, that is why I feel it so necessary to participate in LUNG FORCE Advocacy Days. I am her voice and the voice of thousands of others who can't be here with us. I am her legacy, and I will fight every day so that, hopefully, another family doesn't have to experience that loss.”

During Advocacy Day, Siedel will speak with her U.S. senators and representative to share Karen’s story 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.

Siedel encourages others in Louisiana 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 Ellen Siedel and Karen’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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