LOS ANGELES, July 1, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Lung Association in California hosted its LUNG FORCE Gala on Saturday, June 28, and honored individuals and organizations for their significant contributions to increase awareness of lung cancer and make lung cancer in women a public health priority. The honorees were presented with LUNG FORCE awards at this inaugural event, which was held at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles. The LUNG FORCE Gala also featured a silent auction and raised funds to support lung cancer research.
"Lung cancer is the number one killer of women in the U.S., and incidents of lung cancer in women have more than doubled over the past 35 years. Recent statistics show that there is a general lack of awareness among women that they are at risk for lung cancer," said Anita Lee, American Lung Association in California Interim Chief Executive Officer. "Our LUNG FORCE Gala Award recipients all have made tremendous efforts to increase awareness of the importance of lung health and encouraged women to join us in the fight against lung cancer. Together, we can help turn the tide on this women's health crisis."
During the Gala, the American Lung Association also honored the late actress, Kathryn Joosten (Desperate Housewives, West Wing), for her contributions to support lung cancer patients and raise awareness of the disease. As a tribute, the American Lung Association LUNG FORCE Kathryn Joosten Courage Award was named after Joosten.
The awards presented include:
- LUNG FORCE Kathryn Joosten Courage Award - presented by actress Yvette Nicole Brown
This award celebrates the grace and dignity with which renowned character actor Kathryn Joosten bravely battled lung cancer while raising public awareness about the disease. This honor was given to Cynthia Munzer, associate professor, USC Thornton School of Music, who knows first-hand the devastating effects of lung cancer. As a lung cancer survivor, she is committed to increasing understanding about lung disease among women.
- LUNG FORCE Impact Award – presented by Dan Oh, Assistant Professor of Surgery, USC Keck School of Medicine
The LUNG FORCE Impact Award recognizes a public health professional whose career and work have made major and lasting contributions to the world of lung health. The award was presented to Dr. Denise Aberle, professor and vice chair of research at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles whose career and work have made major and lasting contributions to the world of lung health. Dr. Aberele is a respected advocate for early screening and detection of lung cancer.
- LUNG FORCE Commitment Award – presented by California State Senator Holly Mitchell
This award honors an individual, organization or corporation who has shown tremendous support of the American Lung Association and its mission to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease. The SEIU United Long Term Care Workers (ULTCW) was recognized for its dedication to providing and protecting quality care for vulnerable patients. Laphonza Butler, president of the SEIU ULTCW, accepted the award.
"One of my most devastating days happened in 2012 when I found out about my mother's lung cancer diagnosis," said Coles. "At 82 years-old, a Stage 3 inoperable diagnosis is usually not promising. After 7 long weeks of helplessly watching her undergo chemotherapy and radiation, I am grateful to report that she is currently in remission and doing great! Thanks to the awesome care of her doctors, next month, we will celebrate my mother's 84th birthday."
"The efforts of the ALA and LUNG FORCE will allow countless other mothers and daughters to also share important milestones and victories," continued Coles.
The American Lung Association launched the national LUNG FORCE movement earlier this year to address a hidden epidemic that is the number one cancer killer of women – lung cancer. The Lung Association found that while 90 percent of women say they know that anyone can get lung cancer, there's little evidence that women realize "anyone" could be them. This is despite the sobering fact that, on average, less than half of all women diagnosed with lung cancer will be alive one year after their diagnosis.
About LUNG FORCE
LUNG FORCE is the American Lung Association's national health education movement with a singular mission to unite women to stand together against lung cancer and for lung health. To join the movement, please visit www.lungforce.org.
About the American Lung Association
Now in its second century, the American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease. With your generous support, the American Lung Association is "Fighting for Air" through research, education and advocacy. For more information about the American Lung Association, a holder of the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Guide Seal, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNG-USA (1-800-586-4872) or visit www.lung.org/california.
CONTACT: Maria Bernabe, 310-735-9184, [email protected]
SOURCE American Lung Association in California