WASHINGTON, DC | March 25, 2020
Today, as part of the American Lung Association’s 5th annual of LUNG FORCE Advocacy Day, LUNG FORCE Heroes – those personally impacted by lung cancer – are urging members of Congress to act and save lives. This year, due to travel concerns and recommendations around COVID-19, LUNG FORCE Heroes are remotely meeting with members of Congress, asking them support funding research for the National Institutes of Health and ensure that current healthcare protections will continue, including those for patients with lung disease and other pre-existing conditions.
“More Americans than ever are surviving lung cancer, yet it remains the nation’s #1 cause of cancer deaths,” said American Lung Association President and CEO Harold P. Wimmer. “In recent years, we have made real progress toward defeating this disease, but this lifesaving progress will be lost and inaccessible for many if the Affordable Care Act is struck down or if the Administration continues to weaken healthcare protections.”
Since 2014, the American Lung Association’s LUNG FORCE initiative has united the nation to stand together in support of patients and against lung cancer. Today, LUNG FORCE Heroes will ask members of Congress to support $44.7 billion for the National Institutes of Health so there can be better early detection, treatments and cures for lung cancer, and will ask Congress to ensure that current healthcare protections, including those for patients with pre-existing conditions, will continue. Protecting the Affordable Care Act, which turns 10 this month, is also a priority.
“Protections under the Affordable Care Act ensure that millions of Americans can access, afford and retain quality healthcare,” Wimmer said. “This is essential for patients with or at risk for lung disease, including lung cancer. It also means millions have access to critical preventative services including lung cancer screening, vaccinations and quit smoking treatments, all of which save lives.”
LUNG FORCE Advocacy Day is a uniting moment for the American Lung Association, which is celebrating several recent successes in the world of lung cancer. Since 2016, 27 new therapies were approved by the FDA to treat lung cancer. The five-year survival rate - the rate of people who are still alive five years after being diagnosed - is now 21.7%, as reported in the 2019 "State of Lung Cancer" report, a dramatic 26% improvement over the past decade.
“I’m proud to participate in LUNG FORCE Advocacy Day this year because our work informing members of Congress about the challenges lung cancer patients nationwide face is vital,” said LUNG FORCE Hero Ashley Murosky. “Lung cancer patients like me need both the hope provided by research funding at the NIH and the healthcare protections that ensure access to lifesaving treatments.”
The American Lung Association and its LUNG FORCE initiative encourage everyone to advocate for lung cancer research funding and quality, affordable healthcare with members of Congress in Washington, D.C. Visit LUNGFORCE.org to learn more about LUNG FORCE and how to contact members of Congress.
Media interested in speaking with a LUNG FORCE Hero or an expert about lung cancer and research funding should contact Stephanie Goldina at the American Lung Association at [email protected] or 312-801-7629.
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.
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