When I was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer at 40 years old, my life as I knew it changed forever. After finding a way to cope with my mortality, having several harsh treatments and surgeries, I decided I needed to find a new purpose. We all need something to drive us and, in my soul, I needed to help others. That’s when I became an advocate.
Over the last 6 ½ years since diagnosis, I have worked with many lung cancer organizations, including LUNGevity. They all have their specialty and ways they contribute to making the lives of survivors and their families better. Amazing things have been accomplished in the last few years alone, including more research which produced more treatment options and screening for early detection. All of which have contributed to moving the survival needle little by little. But there is still so much work to do.
Last year, a group of survivors, caregivers, and advocates, had an idea to do something different; something completely grassroots. After just 6 weeks of planning, we had our inaugural Life and Breath (LAB) Rally on November 2, 2017. It was so energizing and empowering to see 161 attendees holding their signs and chanting with us. In addition, our live Facebook feed was viewed over 2,800 times.
According to the Department of Defense, lung cancer kills approximately 433 people every day in the US. We’re demanding that it is declared a national emergency. We desperately need an increase in research funding, so we can drastically lower that number. Lung cancer is the #1 cancer killer and has been underfunded and stigmatized for too long and too many lives are lost.
How can you help? Come join us!
The Life & Breath Rally
Thursday, April 26, 2018 10 a.m. – 12p.m.
U.S. Capitol Building, Washington, D.C.
If you’re already attending LUNGevity’s Hope Summit (April 27-29) please consider coming early and use your voice to make a difference. The specific location on Capitol grounds will be announced as the event date approaches. We have secured a room block at the Residence Inn Pentagon City for $249/night. Participants are welcome to coordinate room-sharing with each other if needed.
Participants are encouraged to bring their own signs and posters to the rally, but be aware that these items may not be brought into or near the Capitol Building. Members of the media will be invited and there will be a diverse group of speakers.
As this is an unbranded, grassroots event, participants are free to wear clothing representing their favorite lung cancer organizations. All organizations, and their volunteers, are welcome to attend. 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 strongly encouraged to make appointments on their own to see their elected U.S. Representative and Senators to occur after 12 p.m. when the rally ends. What’s the point of a rally if we don’t share our message with those that make the decisions?
We will provide an informational packet to drop off in Congressional offices, and participants can also hand out their own organizations’ literature if they’d like.
Prior rally registration is strongly encouraged. Please follow this link for details and to register online: https://labrally.eventbrite.com
You can find your elected officials here: http://act.commoncause.org/site/PageServer?pagename=sunlight_advocacy_list_page
Contact us regarding questions or volunteering and follow us on social media:
Together WE WILL make a difference!