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I want to do something to help gain recognition for lung cancer. I believe that we have to put a human face on it to present to the world. I have written a letter to try and do that. Please give your honest opinion as to wether this might be of help. I would also like to add this web address at the bottom. Lillian

Dear Senator/Congressman

I am writing this letter to inform and also to plea for your help and recognition of a remarkable group of people. These people are engaged in one of the hardest battles there is to fight. They are not numbers or a disease but real people. They are grandfathers and grandmothers, fathers and mothers, sisters and brothers, aunts and uncles and children. They fight everyday of their lives with a strength that is unbelievable at times. Often they fight alone because ignorance has made most people keep them at arms length. They have only their loved ones and the others who are fighting the same battle for support. They didn't ask for this battle it was just handed to them.

Because the battle they fight has a stigma attached to it many think that they deserve to have this battle in their lives. They are judged and found guilty by those who know so little but have an attitude that is both cruel and dangerous. Many times that attitude comes from the very people they have to trust their lives to.

If you haven't guessed by now I will tell you that the people that I speak of are the thousands of people everyday who are diagnosed with lung cancer and their caregivers. Most of these people have proved that they have assets that are greatly needed in this country, things like stamina, courage and compassion. Can we really afford to keep losing these people and the qualities that they have?

Most people see lung cancer as a smokers disease and that is not only unfair but untrue. A large percentage of those with lung cancer do not smoke, never have smoked nor have they been exposed to tobacco smoke. There are many others who smoked and quit years ago. This disease does not discriminate. Everyone is susceptible. It matters not what status they have nor what religion they belong to. Age and sex spares no one any more than nationality does. At any time it could strike you or one of your loved ones.

It is hard to get anyone to pay attention and do something to help in their plight both because of the stigma attached to it and fear. It is not contagious but most people are so afraid of it that they think if they become involved in any way that they will be inviting it into their lives. It is time that the public and officials are educated about the facts. Those facts are:

1. Lung cancer is not just a smokers disease

2. It is not an automatic death sentence there are many long term survives

3 It is not contagious

4. It is the largest cancer killer in the world

5. Research into causes and treatments is drastically underfunded

6. People with lung cancer did not ask for it any more than someone asks to have a heart attack or colon or breast cancer. It is something that happens to them.

7. We desperately need someone to pay attention and speak up for these people

Everyone wanted to use their plight when battling the tobacco companies in court. Once the battle was won they were once more forgotten. The money that was received because of them is being spent in many other places instead of where it belongs, on research and other means to make life easier for the thousands of people battling this monster.

What they face is not easy. It is a day to day roller coaster ride that can knock the wind out of you a thousand times. Many times the treatments and the attitude of others robs a person with lung cancer of many things in their life long before it takes their life. It is time to do something to help stop those things. Please stand up for these people. See to it that lung cancer research is properly funded. Make certain that some of the money from the tobacco settlement goes to educate people on the real facts about lung cancer, not just to warn against smoking. Everyone knows that smoking is bad for you but few know all of the facts about lung cancer. It is time that they learn.

One other thing that is needed is a system that provides comfort items and support for those willing to fight for their lives. At this time many of the things that a person needs just to make life bearable during treatments are not available to them. There are many who are willing to keep fighting but give up so they can get what they need through Hospice. Why is it more important to help with the quality of life for those who are willing to stop treatment and possibly face a certain death and not for those who want to keep fighting?

These are all issues that need to be addressed seriously and soon. Any killer is a threat to all of us. Death doesn't have to come in the form of a bomb or poisonous gas. It can come from many places. Please don't allow it to continue to come from indifference

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This is a great letter! Would you be OK if I copy and pasted and used it as the basis for a letter I am working on and edited for us to use at the TGL Classic run for lung cancer in April? We plan to have computers there to allow people to email their legislators.



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I would love for you to do that. I want so much to help in some way. I saw so many of the things I spoke of in this letter with Johnny. They took a terrible toll on both of us. Now everyday I see more and more of the same thing here on this board. Please use it anyway that you can. Somehow someday we have to get someone to listen. It is just too cruel to let things stand as they are.

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I think it is a good letter. Maybe add that more funding is needed and state the facts.

* An estimated 157,200 americans will die of lung cancer in 2003 - more deaths than breast, prostate and colorectal COMBINED

* 28% of all cancer deaths are from lung cancer

* Approximately $1,200 per lung cancer death was spent in 2001 on research, compared with:

$11,425 for breast cancer

$8,190 for prostate cancer

$3,350 for colorectal cancer

http://www.lungcancer.org/champions/edu ... 0Facts.pdf

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Dear Lillian,


You sure have a wonderful gift in your ablilty to write. I just don't have that! That is a wonderful letter, and I too would like to copy it off if you don't mind and share it with my Lung Cancer Support Group members. Sometimes they like to sit down and write letters as well, but they just don't know where to start.


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I want to thank all of you for your kind responses. I would be very honored to have my letter used anywhere or anytime that it might be of use. Please feel free to do so. I feel that I have to have a purpose to my life that will somehow bring some good from Johnny's death. I can't stand to think of his death leaving nothing but grief and sorrow behind. I feel that not only do I have a purpose but a duty to do anything that I can to help.

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