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American Lung Association breathing life into awareness of lung disease

Written By | Jun 13, 2017

SAN DIEGO, June 13, 2017 ⏤ Established in 1904, the American Lung Association is one of oldest and among the most venerable non-profit institutions in America.

They began their efforts in 1904 by successfully battling tuberculosis. Later, they discovered the gene which causes cystic fibrosis.

The American Lung Association is responsible for leading the charge to drive down smoking rates and for advocacy efforts which resulted in smoke-free laws.


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According to the National Institutes of Health, “People with lung disease have difficulty breathing … millions of people in the U.S. have lung disease.”

As the American Lung Association continues its important work of ensuring clean air to breathe and healthy lungs with which to enjoy it, they also embrace advocacy and research for lung cancer.

Lung cancer represents approximately 14 percent of all cancer diagnoses in the U.S. Every 2.5 minutes someone is diagnosed with lung cancer. Over 220,000 people receive a lung cancer diagnosis each year, making it the leading cause of cancer and cancer-related deaths in America.

Life Force – Image courtesy American Lung Assoc.

Over 156,000 annual deaths are attributed to lung cancer, about 85,000 of them men, 72,000 women.

“The American Lung Association has a mission to promote lung health and prevent lung disease,” explains Janelle Wallace, MPA, Development Manager for the San Diego-based American Lung Association.

“Two-thirds of those diagnosed with lung cancer did not smoke or are former smokers,” Wallace continues.

Smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer, though inhaling second-hand smoke, automotive emissions, radiation therapy and chemicals found in some drinking water might also be the cause.

To fulfill its mission as part of the overall American Lung Association in the U.S., the San Diego-based American Lung Association hosted their annual LungForce Gala. It was held this year aboard the magnificent Inspiration Hornblower on Friday, June 9th, located off of the Grape Street Pier.

(photo by Sutton Porter/courtesy of Laurie Edwards-Tate)

The celebration of life, gaiety, dining, and music lasted well into the night, delighting all attendees while raising thousands of dollars in critically needed funds for the advancement of research, advocacy, supports and awareness for those stricken with lung disease.

The Center for Sustainable Energy and Chris Van Gorder, President and CEO of Scripps Health were this year’s honorees.



What was hugely inspiring was the presence of Lung Force Heroes, people who were stricken with lung cancer and who have struggled and survived, some for as long as 17 years.

(Health Force Heroes Table/photo by Sutton Porter/courtesy of Laurie Edwards-Tate)

“The science now is all about developing the treatment to target the genotypes and mutations that are triggering lung cancer. It’s a game changer for me … 3 trials and 10 years later, it makes me feel good to be able to help expand research.” ⏤ Melissa Crouse, Lung Cancer Survivor and Advocate

All Americans breathe easier and better because of the American Lung Association, raising awareness and badly needed support from across the U.S., one community at a time.

Until next time, enjoy the ride in good health!

Laurie Edwards-Tate

Since 1984, Laurie Edwards-Tate has served as President and Founder of At Your Home Familycare, a non-medical Home Care Aide Organization, serving seniors, disabled, infirm and children. Laurie is Board of Director 2018 (elected), Palomar Health; Executive Board Member; Chair Board Human Resources Committee; Member of Audits & Compliance Committee; Community Relations Committee.