Local residents Terita McKenzie and Jim Pantelas both have something in common; they were personally affected by lung cancer and are now taking action for change. McKenzie lost her mother to lung cancer in 2019, and Pantelas is a lung cancer survivor. Today, March 17, they will meet with members of Congress to raise awareness about the disease and demand action.
Through the American Lung Association’s LUNG FORCE initiative, they will join others personally affected by lung cancer to advocate for $46.1 billion in funding at the National Institutes of Health, $10 billion for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and to ensure that everyone has access to affordable, adequate and accessible healthcare.
Due to the continued impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 Advocacy Day event will be conducted virtually to allow this important message to be heard while also protecting their health and safety of patients and caregivers.
During the virtual Advocacy Day, they both will meet with members of the Michigan Congressional delegation to share their personal experience with lung cancer and explain why investments in public health, research funding and quality and affordable healthcare are important to them.
It is estimated that in 2021 alone, there will be more than 8,500 people in Michigan diagnosed with lung cancer and 5,000 will succumb to the disease. But more people than ever are living with lung cancer in part because survivors are sharing their stories and policymakers are taking action in response. That’s why they are sharing their 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 Michigan.
They encourage others in Michigan to advocate for lung cancer research and healthcare protections by contacting their members of Congress. Learn more about her story and the LUNG FORCE initiative at LUNGFORCE.org.
About the American Lung Association
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.