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

Debbie Anderson will join volunteers from across the nation to ask members of Congress to take action against lung cancer

Elko resident and lung cancer survivor, Debbie Anderson, 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, Debbie 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.

Debbie works as the Director of Case Manager and Behavioral Health for Northeastern Nevada Regional Hospital. She volunteered to receive a low dose CT scan so radiologists could practice using the new technology the hospital had just received. To everyone’s surprise, the scan was abnormal and Debbie was diagnosed with adenocarcinoma – a non-small cell lung cancer, the most common type of lung cancer seen in people who don't smoke. It is more common in women, and luckily was found before it spread. She was able to remain at her workplace for her infusion sessions, and after a year she switched to oral medications. Her goal now is to advocate for affordable treatments, increased access to care, and ultimately to find a cure.   
“There are other patients just like you. And testing is available for every type of cancer thanks to the ongoing research. And we can take some comfort knowing that there are people who have dedicated their lives to finding a cure for cancer.”

During Advocacy Day, Debbie will speak with Nevada’s congressional delegation 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.

Debbie encourages others in Nevada 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 Debbie’s story and the LUNG FORCE initiative at LUNGFORCE.org.

For more information, contact:

Gregg Tubbs
(202) 715-3469
[email protected]

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