Washington Lung Cancer Survivor to Travel to Washington, D.C. to Ask Congress for Increased Research Funding

Washington student Nelson Clay will join volunteers from across the nation to ask members of Congress to take action against lung cancer

Washington student, who lost his mother to lung cancer, Nelson Clay will travel to Washington, D.C. to meet with his members of Congress during the American Lung Association’s LUNG FORCE Advocacy Day on March 29. As a part of the nationwide event, 17 year-old Nelson and his father 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 Dad and I lost my mom 10 years ago to lung cancer. I really don’t remember my mother very much since I was only 7 when she passed away,” said Nelson. “I didn’t really know how sick she was, my dad tells me she sheltered me from the possibility of her dying. So, when I came home from school on the day of her death and my dad told me she died my first reaction was: ‘What? We have no family?.’ His response was, ‘We still have a family, you and I are a family.’ But the reality is that my experience of a family would never be the same.

“We need more research for lung cancer. Maybe, if my mom had had an earlier diagnosis or better treatment, she may have been saved. It’s my hope that no one will ever have to experience what I’ve been through.”

During Advocacy Day, Nelson will speak with members of the Washington Congressional delegation, or their staff, to share his personal experiences with lung cancer and explain why investments in public health, research funding and quality and affordable healthcare are important to her and so many like 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 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.

Nelson encourages others in Washington 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 Nelson’s story and the LUNG FORCE initiative at LUNGFORCE.org.

For more information, contact:

Washington Media Contact

[email protected]

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