A Message From The President of LUNGevity
Two years ago I lost my mother to lung cancer. The diagnosis was shocking, the experience was wrenching, and the end came all too swiftly. Like so many of you, I learned from this painful time. I learned how vulnerable we are, and how relatively little we are able to do when lung cancer is diagnosed. Our family—my father, two brothers, and I—was devastated. But from our grief grew a sense of purpose. We had not been able to save my mother, but we believed that if we dedicated ourselves to an unrelenting effort to change the way lung cancer is diagnosed and treated, we could save the lives of others. That commitment led to the founding of Protect Your Lungs.
We set out to build an organization that could make a difference. We created an advisory council led by senior business leaders, and we listened to their advice. We attracted a prestigious team of scientists and researchers to our scientific advisory board, and we created a rigorous peer-reviewed grant application process to identify and fund research that promised to dramatically improve the outcomes for lung cancer patients.
As part of the process of building Protect Your Lungs, I came in contact with many individuals and organizations working toward the same general purpose of fighting lung cancer. There are many good people engaged in this effort. But one organization stood out from the others. LUNGevity Foundation was passionate, purposeful, and run by people equally determined that their efforts would make a difference. They also had focused on an essential part of the equation – advocates. Through their national events program, LUNGevity created a community for thousands of survivors and advocates and gave a voice to a disease that has been so silent.
Over time, it became clear to the leadership of both organizations that, by combining forces, we could significantly accelerate the pace of research and discovery that will forever change the way lung cancer is viewed. I deeply appreciate the sense of common purpose that emerged from our conversations about merging the two organizations, and the faith we share that funneling significant funds into targeted lung cancer research is critical to ending the scourge of this disease.
I also deeply appreciate the loyalty and service of LUNGevity’s incredible family of advocates. Over the past decade, they have built the premier grassroots organization in the lung cancer domain. We literally could not have done it without them, and we will continue to nurture and foster this critical element of the Foundation’s success. A heartfelt thank you to our dedicated volunteers. I look forward to working with you all.
The promise of LUNGevity Foundation lies in its philosophy, practices, and most importantly, its people. Together we will change the lung cancer world. I hope everyone who reads this takes that mission on. If you do, it will happen.
Stop lung cancer now. Together we can.
Andrea Stern Ferris
President and Chairman