CHARLESTON, SC | March 29, 2023
“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.
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, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org. To support the work of the American Lung Association, find a local event at Lung.org/events.
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