Advocacy 101: Introduction to Advocacy with Jill Feldman

Nick Baker, Web Experience and Content Manager
Quote from Jill Feldman about sharing her story to help other people

Read time: 3 minutes 

In Part 1 of a 3-part Advocacy 101 series, the LUNGevity Action Network presents a conversation with longtime advocate and lung cancer survivor Jill Feldman.  

After a brief introduction to the different types of advocacy—self/patient, political, research/scientific, and media—Jill answers questions and shares just how important advocacy is in the lung cancer space. 

You can watch the full video or use the timestamps below to skip to specific sections.  

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Introduction to Advocacy: 1:50-14:10 

The first part of this video explores different types of advocacy—self/patient, political, research/scientific, and media—the similarities and differences between raising awareness and advocacy, and how to get involved in the types of advocacy that align with your interests.  

Meet Jill Feldman: 14:10-19:00 

Longtime advocate and lung cancer survivor Jill Feldman joins the conversation to share how lung cancer has impacted her life—first through her grandparents, then parents, and then her own diagnosis in 2009. 

Jill on Self, Policy, Research/Scientific, and Media Advocacy: 19:00-32:15 

Jill shares specific examples of how she’s been involved in various forms of advocacy. She touches on why she got involved in different types, what progress she has seen, and why each type is so important.  

What I recognized is that there are certain opportunities to influence and help in different ways. I didn’t have to cure lung cancer to make a difference.

Why It’s Important for Policymakers to Hear From Patients and Caregivers: 34:00-37:00 

The only group of people who can talk about what it’s like to live with lung cancer are people who have lived with lung cancer. Jill emphasizes the power that patients and caregivers have in educating policymakers about what they need. 

Local, state, and federal legislators hear about the needs of researchers and medical companies, but it’s important they also hear about the needs of people living with the disease. 

Addressing health inequities has to come from our community, we need to shed a light on that.

Your Advocacy Can Change Over Time: 37:00-41:00 

You don’t need to be involved in all types of advocacy at all times. Jill shares how her diagnosis changed her advocacy and shifted her focus to being a self-advocate and making sure she got the care she needed.  

As she grew more comfortable, Jill expanded her involvement after recognizing the broader impact of lung cancer advocacy beyond herself. She realized that advocacy is a way to gain some control over the challenges posed by lung cancer. 

If my story and my advocacy can help someone, then I have made a difference, and that is the greatest gift to me.

Changes in Lung Cancer that Jill Has Seen Over Decades: 41:00-44:15 

Jill reflects on the decades of change she’s witnessed from the time her grandparents were diagnosed to the present day. Now, treatment options are so much more effective, there are vibrant lung cancer communities, and patients are being included in all aspects of care and research. 

The shift in how lung cancer is treated is something I never thought I would see in my lifetime.

What Does “Hope” Mean: 44:15-49:30 

A topic with many different perspectives, Jill briefly addresses how she thinks of “hope” and how it has changed over the years. 

It took me a long time to learn how hope is different for different people at different times.

Advocacy Tips and Insights from Jill: 49:30-60:00 

In the closing minutes Jill answers questions and shares practical tips alongside LUNGevity Action Network staff. Tips include: 

  • Know your audience 
  • Develop key points and messages 
  • Make it personal 
  • Be focused and concise 
  • Provide action steps 
  • Practice 
  • Remember your “why” 
  • Make connections in the advocacy community 
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