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My e-mail to media


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Dear Program Director,

I am writing to emplore your station to feature the topic of Lung Cancer in your upcoming segments.

While this has recently become a newsworthy subject since the death of Dana Reeve, I find fault with many of the broadcast content on other stations.

While smoking contributes greatly to lung cancer and MANY other health risks, focusing on smoking, non smokers, or the tobacco issue deters from the reality that lung cancer patients need help and funding for research NOW. LC is the deadliest cancer and the least funded cancer, with an alarmingly low survival rate. It is the silent killer, a crisis in America on deaf ears.

Whether a smoker, ex-smoker, or never smoker, the treatment options, depending on type & stage of your LC, is virtually the same. There are little options for people dx. with this disease and NO ONE deserves to die from it. Please help to educate your viewers about the risk to everyone, whether they smoked or not, and the dire need for funding that has been limited and pushed aside due to politics, social stigmas and an unaware public...

Your viewers need to know that this could happen to them too.

Thank you, Katie Brown

President, Lung Cancer Support Community

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I wrote to our three local channels. One made it all about smoking. One didn't even have Dana Reeve or lung cancer on their homepage anymore. I sent a picture of my sister along with my letter to two of them.

I am going to write Oprah again now and then go eat dinner. :shock:

Here is what I wrote:

I would like to make you aware of another startling statistic in the lung cancer war. My sister, Laurianne Koning, first started having breathing problems when she was pregnant. She was misdiagnosed as having pregnancy related asthma. One month before the baby was born, she was rushed to the hospital and told that she had pneumonia. My nephew was induced and delivered by C-section on June 5, 2005. Two days later, my sister found out she had lung cancer. She was only 25 years old.

My sister did a lot to try to raise awareness in her community. She walked in the Relay for Life and raised over $7000 for this event. The Friday before the event, she found out she might have a brain tumor related to the lung cancer. The following week she was in the hospital to have the brain tumor removed.

Laurianne lived in California, which is a very non-smoking state, unlike Indiana. She worked as a nanny in New York, and was one semester away from becoming a sign language interpreter. Unfortunately, these things were not meant to be. On October 22, 2005, just 4 1/2 months after my nephew was born, my sister lost her battle to lung cancer.

Laurianne was in the rare group of people that get lung cancer at a young age. Even a 25 year old smoker does not get lung cancer. While I appreciate that the death of Dana Reeve is bringing lung cancer awareness into the forefront, I hope that the media will continue to talk about it even after the shock of Dana Reeve's death has subsided. I think it is also important to let people know that this disease does not discriminate. It will just as willingly affect a non-smoker as it will a smoker.

I feel that smoking bans in Indiana are a very good thing. One of the first things that someone should do to prevent lung cancer is to quit smoking. However, I also hope that [news agency name here] will continue to spread the message that lung cancer is a disease the same as breast cancer, ovarian cancer, pancreatic cancer, prostate cancer or any number of cancers that people get. I hope can change the smoking stigma that lung cancer has associated with it. Anyone can get lung cancer.

I have attached a picture of my sister and her son for you. Thank you for your time.


Lynda Scherf

Of course, now I notice the "bad" sentence. :x

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