Life and Breath Rally

Deana Hendrickson

When my mother was diagnosed with Stage 3b lung cancer and subsequently died a short time later, I was grief stricken. I was also very angry. How could it be that lung cancer is diagnosed for only 15% of patients at an early stage? Why were treatment options so limited? How come the first question everyone asked me was if mom smoked? Such questions spurred me to become a lung cancer advocate.

I’ve worked with many of our wonderful lung cancer groups, and am grateful for the important work they do. Still, I wanted to do something initiated by patients and caregivers. After many conversations with several lung cancer patients, an idea was born. Life & Breath (LAB) is a grassroots effort comprised of lung cancer survivors, caregivers, and advocates. We volunteer with various lung cancer organizations (including LUNGevity) but have decided to come together as individuals for a common cause:

The Life & Breath Rally

Thursday, November 2, 2017, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

U.S. Capitol Building, Washington, D.C.

Lung cancer is a national emergency and must be declared as such. This step will allow an increase in desperately needed research funding. Over 222,000 Americans are diagnosed with lung cancer every year. Our country cannot make a dent in overall cancer mortality rates without drastically improving the survival rate of lung cancer. Too often, this disease is stigmatized and overlooked, and as a result, is significantly underfunded.

We represent the 433 Americans who die every day because of this disease, the deadliest of all cancers. Our goal is to have enough participants to stage a die-in of 433 people. We want to give Congress a visual of lung cancer’s impact, that the #1 cancer killer claims 433 of their constituents every single day. We need your physical presence to make it happen.

The specific location on Capitol grounds will be announced as the event date approaches. Participants are encouraged to bring their own signs, posters, etc., to the Rally, with the understanding that these items may not be brought into or near the Capitol Building. Members of the media will be invited.

Speakers/participants will include members of the Congressional Lung Cancer Caucus (or their staff), with cooperation from the office of U.S. Representative Rick Nolan, founder and co-chair. Representative Nolan’s daughter, Katherine Bensen, a Stage IV lung cancer survivor, will also be in attendance, as well as noted advocate Chris Draft. Other special guests will be announced soon.

As this is an unbranded, grassroots event, participants are free to wear clothing representing their favorite lung cancer organizations, if desired. All organizations and their volunteers are welcome. There will be no fundraising as we are not a nonprofit nor do we represent one. Our goal is to provide a unified presence for the purpose of lung cancer advocacy.

Participants are encouraged to make appointments on their own to see their elected U.S. Representative and Senators to occur after 1 p.m. when the Rally is scheduled to conclude, to make sure that these officials know that we need more lung cancer research NOW. We will provide an informational packet to drop off in Congressional offices, and participants are free hand out their own organizations’ literature when these visits are made.

You can find your elected officials here:

 Prior Rally registration is strongly encouraged. Please follow this link to register online:

If you have any questions, contact us:

Webpage :


Twitter: @LABLifeBreath

Instagram lifeandbreathrally

Please join us for this important event!


Blog category: 
Awareness & advocacy


My husband died 5 weeks ago today of small cell lung cancer. I will not be able to attend this. Sounds like a wonderful way of raise awareness. Please keep me informed. I would like to help in some way

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