KANSAS CITY, KS | March 30, 2022
Local Kansas City resident Michelle Hills has a personal connection to lung cancer – she is a survivor. Now, she will meet with her members of Congress and explain why investments in public health, research funding and quality, affordable healthcare are critical during the American Lung Association’s LUNG FORCE Advocacy Day on April 6, 2022.
“Lung cancer has become an epidemic,” said Hills. “Due to the lack of funding for lung cancer research, we are losing against this imminent terminal disease with epic proportions. We need our congressional representatives to take action now to improve the lung cancer survivor rates by broadening the screening criteria and increasing research funds.”
Since Hills had no known risk factors for lung cancer and was not a smoker, she was not screened for lung cancer. By the time her persistent cough developed, Hills’ disease, which was misdiagnosed for four months, was already at stage 4. While her initial prognosis was extremely poor, Hills started taking a lifesaving targeted therapy that has been controlling her disease for now. Unfortunately, these therapies ultimately develop resistance, and the subsequent options are limited due to lack of research funding.
As a part of the nationwide event, Hills will join more than 50 people across the country who have been impacted by lung cancer to advocate for $49 billion in research funding for the National Institutes of Health, $11 billion in funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and to protect expanded access to quality, affordable healthcare.
Due to the continued impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2022 Advocacy Day will be conducted virtually to allow this important message to be heard while also protecting the health and safety of patients and caregivers. During the virtual Advocacy Day, Hills will speak with Senator Roger Marshall’s office, Senator Jerry Moran’s office and Representative Sharice Davids’ office to share her personal experience of living with lung cancer.
It is estimated that in 2022 alone, there will be 2,190 people in Kansas diagnosed with lung cancer, but there is hope. More people than ever are surviving lung cancer, in part because patients and caregivers are urging their policymakers to take action. That’s why Hills is sharing her story with lawmakers and others — so that more can be done to help lung cancer patients and their caregivers throughout the United States and in Kansas.
Hills encourages others in Kansas to advocate for lung cancer research and healthcare protections by contacting their members of Congress at Lungforce.org/AdvocacyDay. Learn more about Hills’ story and the LUNG FORCE initiative at LUNGFORCE.org.
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 Gold-Level GuideStar Member, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org.
LUNG FORCE is a national movement led by the American Lung Association to unite our nation in our efforts to defeat lung cancer, the #1 cancer killer of women and men. LUNG FORCE has three priorities: 1) Make lung cancer a cause that people care about – and act on; 2) Educate and empower patients and healthcare providers and 3) Raise critical funds for groundbreaking lung cancer research. The American Lung Association's LUNG FORCE is nationally presented by CVS Health. Find out more at LUNGFORCE.org.
A Breath of Fresh Air in Your Inbox
Want updates on the latest lung health news, including COVID-19, research, inspiring stories and health information?
Join the 700,000+ people getting our email updates!
A Breath of Fresh Air in Your Inbox
You will now receive email updates from the American Lung Association.