Chicago resident and lung cancer survivor, Paul Shoun, met with his members of Congress today during the American Lung Association’s LUNG FORCE Advocacy Day in Washington, D.C. As a part of the nationwide event, Shoun joined 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.
Shoun’s life changed dramatically when he was diagnosed with Stage IV non-small cell lung cancer which metastasized to his brain 6 years ago. Despite experiencing issues with organizing pneumonia and having to make many adjustments in his life, including going on disability leave from work before retiring, Paul joined a wellness support group and continues to participate in activities he enjoys, such as singing with the Chicago Gay Men's Chorus and traveling. After receiving targeted treatments, he is now cancer-free.
“I am filled with gratitude to still be alive and in the position to be able to help the American Lung Association with its mission,” Shoun said. “May we succeed beyond all expectations!”
During Advocacy Day, Shoun spoke with Congresswoman Nikki Budzinski and met with the staff for U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth and Congressman Mike Quigley to share his lung cancer journey and explain why investments in public health, research funding and quality and affordable healthcare are important to him.
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 50new 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.
Shoun, encourages others in Illinois 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 Shoun’s 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 Platinum-Level GuideStar Member, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org.