Lung Cancer Survivors and Caregivers from Across the Country Head to Capitol Hill to Advocate for Increased Research Funding

American Lung Association volunteers ask members of Congress to take action to end lung cancer
Tomorrow, more than 40 LUNG FORCE Heroes – people living with lung cancer, their loved ones and advocates from across the country – will head to Washington, D.C. to meet with members of Congress during the American Lung Association LUNG FORCE Advocacy Day. As a part of the event, LUNG FORCE Heroes will 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. 

“Advocating for lung cancer is critical, as action by Congress can truly save lives. The disease remains the leading cause of cancer deaths in the U.S., however, the survival rate has increased by nearly 40% over the past ten years thanks in part to new treatments, increased access to better healthcare and more early detection,” said Harold Wimmer, National President and CEO of the American Lung Association. “This year, we are excited to return to Capitol Hill in person with more than one hundred LUNG FORCE Heroes and Lung Association staff to rally support for measures that will make an impact on people affected by lung cancer.”

Portia Booker, one of the LUNG FORCE Heroes traveling to Washington, D.C. for Advocacy Day, was the caregiver for her mother during her lung cancer treatment.

“My mother’s journey began with her lung cancer diagnosis in 2018. She had a CT scan a few weeks prior that showed a spot on her right lung. The doctor recommended a biopsy to confirm if the spot was cancerous or benign. We scheduled the appointment right away despite my mother wanting to ignore it. I’m grateful for the access to our local hospitals because scheduling and availability can add unwanted stress. I’m also grateful for Medicaid. Without that coverage, there is no way we could have afforded my mother’s medications,” said Booker. “Being a caregiver of my beloved mother for the last four years taught me the importance of gratitude and need for continued advocacy. My mother’s journey (now she can rest peacefully) opened a door for me to share her story and encourage others through their cancer journey as patients or caregivers. My hope for years to come is the access to lung screenings, healthcare and additional resources will result in more successful outcomes.”

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 50 new 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. 

During the American Lung Association’s 2023 LUNG FORCE Advocacy Day on March 29, support LUNG FORCE Heroes by visiting and contacting members of Congress to ask them to support $51 billion in research funding for the NIH $11.6 billion in funding for the CDC and to support and protect Medicaid.
For more information, contact:

Jill Dale
[email protected]

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