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We Need Funding for Research for This Horrible Disease


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I found this letter on the Lung Cancer Survivors’ Community website: http://lungcancer.clinicahealth.com/topics.pl

This well-composed letter was written by CKP, a 51 year old woman with NSCLC.

We are trying to get everyone who has been afflicted by lung cancer, whether personally or as a caregiver, to write letters to as many talk show hosts as possible so as to start to bring attention and research funding to this horrible disease.

Please take the time to write a letter. I’m sure that CKP wouldn’t mind if you paraphrased her letter or used parts of it in your own.

The only suggestion I would make is to add the color of the lung cancer ribbon to the letter. This way the celebrities could have everyone in the audience wear one. (You might want to suggest this in the letter.) It has been difficult to find out the color ribbon associated with lung cancer. I have searched on the Internet and found that a Pearl Colored Ribbon stands for lung cancer and lung disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Mesothelioma. We should all include this in our letters.

Dear (Oprah Winfrey, Ellen DeGeneres, Marie Osmond, Tyra Banks, Kelly Ripa, Barbara Walters, etc),

You may be aware November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month. As the number one cancer killer, lung cancer causes more deaths yearly than breast, prostate, colon, liver, kidney cancers and melanoma combined. Lung cancer is the most under-funded of all cancers and that must change so lives can be saved. There is a veil of discrimination against people with lung cancer. The public perception is that only smokers, or people who deserve it, get lung cancer. That's inhumane and untrue. Please help put a human face on lung cancer today. Pink is not the only color ribbon.

Don’t get me wrong. I am thrilled the Susan B. Komen Foundation has had the success it has had. It has undoubtedly saved many lives, including the life of one of my oldest and dearest friends. I do not begrudge them the money they have for research. Nancy Brinker is a brilliant businesswoman and had an idea and ran with it. It has turned into the largest cancer advocacy group in the world. The Susan B. Komen Foundation is fortunate in that over 80% of women diagnosed will survive. These women go on to become advocates for Breast Cancer research and funding. Lung Cancer has an 8% chance of 5 year survival. That doesn’t leave many people to advocate.

The problem is this…..lung cancer is much like AIDS was in the 80’s. There was much blame associated with the disease, only gay people and drug addicts got AIDS, why should anyone care? They deserved it for their risky lifestyles. All they needed to do was stop being gay or drug addicts and they wouldn’t die from this disease. Yet, it was discovered later, there were plenty of people that got AIDS that weren’t gay or drug addicts, and they were dying nonetheless.

There is a stigma attached to lung cancer as well. If people didn’t smoke they wouldn’t get lung cancer so why should anyone care? Yet, it isn’t just smoking that causes lung cancer. Asbestos, radon, pollution, genetics, they all contribute to this disease. Yet, no one cares because it is a “smokers” disease.

No one asks the breast cancer patient “Do you drink too much?”, “Did you use antiperspirant with aluminum?” Did you use birth control?”. No one asks the colon cancer patient “Do you get enough fiber in your diet?”. No one asks the person with heart disease if they went to McDonald’s all the time or the diabetic how much they weigh. Yet, the first question to the person diagnosed with lung cancer is “Do you smoke?” As if that justifies their disease!

I am asking you, one of the most influential people in the world, to please, please address this issue in November, National Lung Cancer Month. If someone of your caliber would get behind the movement, perhaps there would be more money put into research and, maybe, just maybe, you can help to erase the stigma attached to this horrid disease. There are people that haven’t smoked a day in their lives that get lung cancer. There are people that quilt smoking twenty and thirty years ago that get lung cancer. And, there are people that suffer from a horrible addiction that get lung cancer. The one thing they all have in common is they are all human beings, deserving of a chance to be cured and live. No one deserves to die from lung cancer.

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Thank you for that URL of companies that have embraced the Breast Cancer Pink Ribbon Campagne.

I was amazed and frustrated at the number of huge companies that have "pinked" some of their products.

Perhaps some day lung cancer will have as much visibility and support!


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