Attending Events and Advocating for Lung Cancer Patients
Last updated: January 2023
As a person living with lung cancer and doing advocacy work, I really enjoy going to lung cancer events, conferences, and summits. It gives me a better understanding of lung cancer, and I get to learn more about the science behind the research for lung cancer and upcoming treatments. I want to learn more about how it all works. I might not understand it all, but it reassures me that they are working hard to help us live longer, and I have become a little more knowledgeable.
My first lung cancer event
I try to get involved as much as I can because, for me, I’m making a difference. It might be a small difference, but I’m helping to make a change. I want people to know and see that we matter too. I had the pleasure of receiving a patient travel grant back in 2018 to attend the IASLC World Conference on Lung Cancer in Toronto, Canada. It was scary for me because this was the first time I attended a conference with specialists focusing on lung cancer without me understanding the scientific part of it. But that is why I applied for the patient travel grant to go and learn as much as possible.
Social media workshop events
Every year since the pandemic, I go to California for a lung cancer workshop. Being a member of the LCFA Speakers Bureau, I’ve had the opportunity to attend these workshops. These workshops help us learn how to use social media to bring awareness and educate about lung cancer. This workshop has helped me to use social media to do just that.
I would also go to NYC to participate in Pfizer’s Lung Cancer Patient/Advocate Steering Committee. Here we would sit with the employees of the lung cancer unit in Pfizer to share and give input.
Lung Cancer Advocacy Summit
In 2019 I had the honor of participating in the Lung Cancer Advocacy Summit in Washington, D.C. Go2 Foundation has this summit every year. I had the opportunity to go to the hill with your lung cancer sisters and brothers to meet with your congressman/woman and senators. This gave us the opportunity to share our story with them and inform them what our goal is regarding funding for lung cancer research. Now, this was an amazing experience for me! Also, in 2019 I was invited to share my story at Takeda’s Town Hall Meeting in Boston.
The power of words and actions
Just recently, I was invited to go to Boston, MA, to participate in a panel discussion about how words and actions matter. It is very important to inform and educate how words and action can either have a positive or negative experience. I was happy to share my experiences and to let others know what not to do or say.
Since the pandemic, events are still virtual. Still, I’m hoping we can start meeting in person so I can continue to participate, learn, grow and do what I do best: educate, inform and continue to bring awareness and, most importantly, to bring hope!
Happy Lung Cancer Awareness Month! What does self-advocacy mean to you?