WASHINGTON, March 17, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, LUNG FORCE Heroes — those personally impacted by lung cancer — from across the country joined together virtually to participate in the American Lung Association's annual LUNG FORCE Advocacy Day event. These LUNG FORCE Heroes will ask their members of Congress to support $46.1 billion in funding at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), $10 billion in funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and to ensure that everyone has access to affordable, adequate and accessible healthcare.
"More Americans than ever are surviving lung cancer thanks to research and advancements in treatments, yet it remains the nation's #1 cause of cancer deaths," said American Lung Association President and CEO Harold Wimmer. "Our annual LUNG FORCE Advocacy Day event is crucial because greater awareness and support for this disease can truly save lives."
LUNG FORCE Advocacy Day is an annual event for the American Lung Association, activating hundreds of lung cancer patients and caregivers nationwide to advance research funding and patient protections for lung cancer patients everywhere. Since 2016, over 30 new therapies were approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat lung cancer – giving life and hope to those living with lung cancer. In addition, the five-year survival rate is now 22.6%, a dramatic increase of 13% in the past five years.
"The treatment breakthroughs funded by the National Institutes of Health have improved the lives of many Americans impacted by lung cancer," Wimmer said. "Together with our LUNG FORCE Heroes, we are focused on pursuing better early detection, treatments and cures for lung cancer, while ensuring that all patients have access to the care they deserve. We also recognize the need for healthier communities and an increased national effort on prevention, including screening of individuals at high risk for lung cancer."
Due to the continued impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 Advocacy Day event is being conducted virtually to allow this important message to be heard while also protecting the health and safety of patients and caregivers.
"I'm honored to participate in LUNG FORCE Advocacy Day this year because informing members of Congress about the need to support lung cancer patients is critical," said LUNG FORCE Hero Ashley Stringer from Edmond, Oklahoma. "Lung cancer patients like me need the hope provided by new, lifesaving treatments resulting from NIH research and healthcare coverage that ensures we have access to those treatments."
The American Lung Association and its LUNG FORCE initiative encourages everyone to advocate for increased NIH and CDC funding and quality, affordable and accessible healthcare with members of Congress in Washington, D.C. Visit LUNGFORCE.org to learn more about LUNG FORCE and how you can contact members of Congress.
Media interested in speaking with a LUNG FORCE Hero or an expert about lung cancer and research funding should contact Allison MacMunn at the American Lung Association at Media@Lung.org or 312-801-7628.
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, a holder of the coveted 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and a Gold-Level GuideStar Member, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org.
About LUNG FORCE
LUNG FORCE is a national movement led by the American Lung Association to unite the nation in our efforts to defeat lung cancer, the #1 cancer killer of women and men. LUNG FORCE has three priorities: 1) Make lung cancer a cause that people care about – and act on; 2) Educate and empower patients and healthcare providers and 3) Raise critical funds for groundbreaking lung cancer research. The American Lung Association's LUNG FORCE is nationally presented by CVS Health. Find out more at LUNGFORCE.org.
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SOURCE American Lung Association