But there’s more to the story. In the afternoon, we all scattered to lobby our respective elected representatives. Genevieve, our friend Violet and I were just finishing our day of lobbying, when we ran into Laura on the street. She was fighting mad about the professional lung cancer advocacy organizations that they had coordinated with. “I told them that what they were pushing was really lame. They’re asking for one more ridiculous study that will be put on a shelf and never looked at again, and a few million dollars. That’s NOTHING to Congress. That’ not even a ROUNDING ERROR to them. I told them that’s not good enough. I’m going to be dead before my kids get out of elementary school, so your pace doesn’t work for me. It’s not about you. It’s about me!”
I saw the tears in her eyes, along with the fire. I felt deeply for her, and for her husband standing next to us, and for those two cute little curtain-climbers that will have to learn the meaning of cancer way too soon. And I realized that, as much as I will fight it, the chances are good that what she is saying is true for me as well. If this is the pace of increase for research spending, it won’t be in time for Laura or for me.
And while Laura is right, that this funding request is completely dwarfed by the needs, it still brings crucial dollars to lung cancer research for those that follow. There have been seventeen new drugs approved for lung cancer treatment in the last three years alone. That is an explosion! There is reason for hope, which is why Genevieve and I will be back in DC in July, lobbying Congress again. That is why I am asking you to join my team for the Portland Lung Love Run/Walk on Saturday, June 23rd, or to donate to our team (Live Lung and Prosper), by following this link: https://bit.ly/2I898kl.
I thought about how Laura looked that first time I met her three years ago. And then I thought about the elected representatives Laura was about to meet. This time, I thought, it’s not going to be Laura that looks like a deer in the headlights.