Lung Cancer Awareness advocate

As November is Lung Cancer Awareness month, Flushing resident Carrie Wesolowski is working to promote the issue in honor of her father, who passed away from the disease last year.
“During November of 2008, my dad was one of nearly 220,000 newly diagnosed lung cancer patients,” Wesolowski said.
Wesolowski saw her father’s health deteriorate during the 18 months he lived with lung cancer. He went from being active to being bedridden.
“After seeing my dad suffer as he did, I [was] determined to make sure that no one would have to suffer as he did and no child would feel what I felt at watching their parent suffer in that way,” she said.
Wesolowski noted that this disease can affect smokers and non-smokers alike.
“When I tell people you don’t have to smoke to get lung cancer, it’s news to some people,” she said. “In fact, nearly 80 percent of newly diagnosed lung cancer cases are former or never smokers.”
She began working with the Lung Cancer Alliance and is now the captain of Team Lung Love, running in marathons to help raise awareness and funds. She also began speaking to local groups.
As part of her commitment to the cause, Wesolowski is now advocating for The Lung Cancer Mortality Reduction Act.
“We must secure the money to fund research that will find the diagnostic tools that will detect lung cancer early when it is more treatable,” Wesolowski said. She also said, “The lung cancer movement has begun and we are all vital components. Together we will end lung cancer as we know it. I feel my dad’s stride with every step I make.”
For more information on Team Lung Love, including how to support the cause, visit www.teamlunglove.org.
While Weslowski is advocating for that legislation, the American Lung Association in New York is encouraging lawmakers in the state to enact comprehensive cessation coverage. This comes following the report “Helping Smokers Quit: State Cessation Coverage 2010,” which the association said finds a gap in individuals getting help to quit smoking.
“Smoking causes far too many New Yorkers to die prematurely and suffer from lung diseases that erode their quality of life,” said American Lung Association in New York President and CEO Scott T. Santarella. “Most smokers want desperately to quit smoking. This report shows us once again the importance of making sure smokers have access to comprehensive cessation coverage when they do make the decision to quit.”
According to the American Lung Association, “providing comprehensive coverage means ensuring access to seven medications and three types of counseling recommended by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to treat tobacco use and nicotine dependence.”