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

Laura Reed, a jewelry designer and former U.S. Navy officer, will join volunteers from across the nation to ask members of Congress to take action to end lung cancer

Charleston resident and lung cancer advocate, Laura Reed, 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, Reed 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).

Reed, an independent jewelry designer who previously served in the U.S. Navy as Nuclear Surface Warfare officer, was diagnosed with Stage IV non-small cell lung cancer last May. She complained to her primary care physician of a persistent, lingering cough. Over the course of three weeks, Reed went through a chest X-ray, CT scan, biopsy and PET scan, revealing that the cancer was metastatic and ALK-positive. An active person with no risk factors, Reed was blindsided by the diagnosis. She was only 38 years old—the same age that her mother was when she passed from colon cancer.

“When my mother was diagnosed with colon cancer thirty years ago, she didn’t have many treatment options. She fought a very good fight but passed away a mere nine months after her diagnosis,” Reed recounted. “I’ve already passed the nine-month mark, and I try to sit and celebrate these little milestones and be grateful to the many researchers who have labored day in and day out for the past 30 years to drastically change the outlook of people who face a similar diagnosis. I am living proof of their efforts not being in vain.”

Reed added: “But, I can’t help to think of how much further we need to go. Even though my prognosis is positive in the fact that I have many years ahead of me rather than months, I want more. I want longevity for everyone diagnosed with lung cancer.”

During Advocacy Day, Reed will speak with her U.S. senators and representative to share her personal experience with lung cancer and explain why investments in public health and research funding are important to her.

“We must still press on and continue the good work and progress of cancer research,” urged Reed. “I am just an average, normal, healthy American who developed lung cancer for no reason. Anyone with lungs can get lung cancer and everyone deserves effective treatment, if not a cure.”

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.

Reed 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 Laura Reed’s story and the LUNG FORCE initiative at LUNGFORCE.org.

Get involved and help the mission of the American Lung Association. The “Lowcountry Dancing with the Stars” Oxygen Ball is coming up on May 17 at the Charleston Gaillard Center. Learn more at here.

For more information, contact:

Victoria O'Neill
(312) 273-5890
[email protected]

Asthma Basics Workshop - National
, | Apr 17, 2024
Asthma Basics Workshop - National
, | May 07, 2024