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

New York City Resident Colette Smith will join volunteers from across the nation to ask members of Congress to take action to end lung cancer

New York City resident and lung cancer survivor Colette 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 20. 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 $51.3 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).

Smith was diagnosed with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in 2015, following a visit to the ER for palpitations. After months of diagnostic tests, it was determined that she would need a complete lobectomy.  As a 50-years-young active non-smoker, this news was both shocking and painful. In the years since her surgery, Smith has become an outspoken lung cancer advocate, promoting awareness within and beyond her community, and an important partner to the American Lung Association in New York City.

“I learned the hard way that anyone can get lung cancer. Today, 9 years after my diagnosis, I am happy to share that I have been recovering steadily due to the concerted efforts of many,” Smith said. “I did not choose this path. It chose me. I now open myself unto this purpose. While I embark on this journey of wellness and lung cancer awareness, I hope to help as many others as I can by bringing them encouragement, inspiration, and of course, advocating for funding for new lifesaving treatments and research.”

During Advocacy Day, Colette will speak with Senate Majority Leader Schumer, Senator Gillibrand, Representative Tonko, Representative Torres or their staff to share her personal experience with lung cancer and explain why investments in public health and research funding is so critical.

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.

Colette encourages others in New York to advocate for lung cancer research and healthcare protections by contacting their members of Congress, which they can do at Lung.org/AdvocacyDay.  All are also welcome to join Colette or support her in the LUNG FORCE Walk New York City, coming this May 18th at the South Street Seaport. Registration is open at LUNGFORCE.org/NYC

Learn more about Colette’s story and the LUNG FORCE initiative at LUNGFORCE.org.

For more information, contact:

Jennifer Solomon
(516) 680-8927
[email protected]

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