Low Country Lung Cancer Advocate Travels to Washington, D.C. to Ask Congress for Increased Research Funding

Andrea Serrano will join volunteers from across the nation to ask members of Congress to take action against lung cancer
James Island resident and lung cancer advocate, Andrea Serrano is in Washington, D.C. today to meet with her members of Congress during the American Lung Association’s LUNG FORCE Advocacy Day. As a part of the nationwide event, Serrano 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.

“My mother Stephanie Orola Cooker passed away at the young age of 42 from lung cancer. By the time she found out she had cancer she was already at stage 4. I feel strongly that if there had been more early detection initiatives at that time, she would have had a much greater chance of defeating her lung cancer.”

“I lead a very active life. Aside from working, I like to DJ, dance, do yoga and paddle board.  I know firsthand that leading a healthy lifestyle and having healthy lungs go hand in hand. Everyone deserves the opportunity and resources to lead a healthy life and affordable and accessible healthcare are essential. I free-lance, so I know what it’s like to need affordable healthcare that is available and accessible to everyone.”

“As a parent of a middle and high school student, I am keenly aware that the vaping epidemic is real and widespread. Stricter laws and prevention would help deter the next generation on getting hooked on nicotine.”

“I’m here in D.C. to advocate for lung health awareness, early detection, affordable healthcare and more federal funding for the NIH and CDC so together we can save more lives.”

During Advocacy Day, Serrano will speak with Senator Lindsey Graham, Senator Tim Scott, and Representative Nancy Mace 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.

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

Jill Smith
[email protected]

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