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

LUNG FORCE Hero Joseph Schiavo will join volunteers from across the nation to ask members of Congress to take action to end lung cancer

Scotch Plains resident and lung cancer survivor, Joseph Schiavo, 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, Joseph 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).

 Joseph was diagnosed with advanced stage lung cancer in January 2013 and spent most of the year undergoing treatment which included chemotherapy and surgery to remove a large portion of his right lung and 25 treatments of radiation to his chest. He was cancer free for almost four years. In 2017, the cancer returned and metastasized to his sacrum and iliac crest, and then again in 2020.

The bone cancer and subsequent treatments caused damage to his right hip, leg and foot. Currently, he is receiving targeted cancer infusion treatments and regular scans to keep the cancer in check.

He is passionate about sharing his story and helping to advocate for more research funding to end lung cancer. “The research is critical, and we need to allocate more funds so we can find a cure. Eleven years after my diagnosis, I am still here, celebrating life because of new treatments,” said Joseph. “My journey as a nonsmoker fighting lung cancer, has inspired me to be passionate about sharing my story to provide hope to those fighting the disease, raising awareness of the importance of low dose CT scans to those at risk and making affordable access to good healthcare a priority.” Downloadable image of Joseph.   

During Advocacy Day, Joseph will speak with the offices of Offices of Senators Booker and Menendez and Representative Kean.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.

Joseph encourages others in New Jersey and across the nation 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 Joseph Schiavo's story and the LUNG FORCE initiative at LUNGFORCE.org.

For more information, contact:

Valerie Gleason
[email protected]

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