Message From LCA President Laurie Fenton Ambrose for November, Lung Cancer Awareness Month, 2009
November is upon us as we mark the start of Lung Cancer Awareness Month (LCAM) together again. It is an important time for our community as many will use this anniversary to organize events or participate in activities to honor loved ones, elevate awareness and advocate for increased compassion and support for all those affected by lung cancer community.
Originally started as a one day awareness event in 1995 by LCA'S predecessor organization, the designation of November as Lung Cancer Awareness Month is now recognized in local communities, highlighted at the national level and acknowledged worldwide, thanks to efforts by our partner organization, the Global Lung Cancer Coalition (GLCC).
I am honored to share that our “movement” is having an impact. In only four years, with less than 1% of breast cancer’s advocacy army, public awareness about lung cancer is growing and research funding is increasing. The media is starting to more accurately present lung cancer facts. The public is becoming more aware of the massive under funding of the disease -- and that it is hitting more non-smokers and former smokers than current smokers. More federal legislators are responding to your “calls to action” by co-sponsoring landmark legislation requiring a comprehensive plan to fund lung cancer research in our Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS), Veterans Administration (VA) and Defense (DOD). And more Governors and state legislators are supporting policy proposals to fund lung cancer research.
In addition, a national coalition is growing and calling on our public health leadership to more adequately address the disparities in lung cancer research funding and access to care. LCA salutes organizations such as the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC), the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), the Asian Pacific Islander American Health Council (APIAHC), Veterans of Foreign Wars, (VFW), Vietnam Veterans of American (VVA), the Disabled American Veterans (DAV), among others, for going on record in support of a comprehensive plan to reduce lung cancer’s mortality and inspiring others to speak up and speak out.
During November, LCA will do its best to provide regular updates on activities and events underway across the country, to help link willing hearts and hands and to provide suggestions on how to get involved. Here are a few of LCA’s key initiatives:
- National SHINE A LIGHT ON LUNG CANCER Candlelight Vigil – A national event to bring attention and support to lung cancer, to educate the public and build a stronger national movement dedicated to obtaining more research funding to reduce lung cancer’s mortality. To date, 33 vigils are scheduled and taking place in 17 states. For more information on how you can hold a vigil go to www.shinealightonlungcancer.org.
- DR. LUNG LOVE – LCA’s new national spokesperson. Look for his PSA on YouTube, Facebook and FunnyOrDie.com.
- KALEIDESCOPE – A nationally televised celebration of song, skating and survivorship to be aired on Thanksgiving Day on FOX. Look for LCA advocates in the audience!
- NATIONAL & STATE ANNUAL REPORT CARDS on LUNG CANCER -- Annual assessments measuring progress on federal and state levels to reduce lung cancer’s high mortality.
So let’s all go out and RAISE AWARENESS for lung cancer. Our efforts are turning the tide. There is no stopping us now! Together we can end lung cancer as we know it!