Mississippi Lung Cancer Survivor Travels to Washington, D.C. to Ask Congress for Increased Research Funding

Nancy Smith will join volunteers from across the nation to ask members of Congress to take action against lung cancer
McComb resident and lung cancer survivor, Nancy Smith, will travel to Washington, D.C. to meet with her members of Congress during the American Lung Association’s LUNG FORCE Advocacy Day on March 29. As a part of the nationwide event, Smith will join more than 40 other people across the country who have been impacted by lung cancer to 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.

“Hearing the word cancer is scary – hearing the diagnosis of lung cancer was terrifying,” shares Smith. “My story started in the fall of 2014 with a dry cough, fatigue, shoulder pain and shortness of breath. After several months of symptoms, I knew something was wrong. My initial tests included chest X-rays, treatment for pneumonia, a CT scan, a lung biopsy and a pet scan. And in February of 2015 I received the life changing news – I had stage 2 non-small cell adenocarcinoma and a five-centimeter tumor on my lower left lobe.”

“We are never ready for these types of curve balls, but we face them, get a game plan together and move forward. My journey included biomarker testing, chemotherapy and two lung surgeries. Recovery was hard and living with one lung is sometimes a challenge, but I am happy to say that I have been cancer free since 2016. I have developed a strong sense of community through my diagnostic journey and one reason I volunteer is to honor those friends and family I have lost to this disease.”

“I will continue to advocate for other lung cancer survivors. And I think it is very important to mentor those who are a lot like me, moms who want to raise their children and not just survive but thrive.”

“I am grateful to the American Lung Association for continuing to advocate for early detection and better treatment options so we can all continue to live long and fulfilling lives.”

During Advocacy Day, Smith will speak with Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith, Senator Roger Wicker and Congressman Michael Guest to share her personal experience with lung cancer and explain why investments in public health, research funding and quality and affordable healthcare are important to her.

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.

Smith encourages others in Mississippi 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 Smith’s story and the LUNG FORCE initiative at LUNGFORCE.org.
For more information, contact:

Jill Smith
[email protected]

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