Lung Cancer Survivors From Across the Nation Gather To Share, Hope and Heal at LUNGevity's Third Annual Hope Summit

Nation's largest lung cancer-focused nonprofit provides unique forum in May, Lung Cancer Hope Month

Apr 29, 2013, 14:55 ET from LUNGevity Foundation

WASHINGTON, April 29, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- LUNGevity Foundation, the nation's largest lung cancer-focused nonprofit, is gathering nearly 100 lung cancer survivors and caregivers nationwide for the 2013 LUNGevity Hope Summit, May 3-5, 2013 in Arlington, Va. The conference, taking place during Lung Cancer Hope Month, is designed for lung cancer survivors of all ages and stages of disease, currently in or out of treatment.  The summit provides an opportunity for participants to celebrate lung cancer survivorship, and gives survivors the opportunity to learn, collaborate, advocate and use their voices and stories to make a difference in the fight against lung cancer. It is the only event of its kind for the lung cancer community.

The 2013 Hope Summit will include inspirational speakers, medical expert forums, advocacy forums, lung cancer survivor-specific sessions and opportunities for lung cancer survivors to share and connect with other survivors. There will be sessions for survivors in active treatment and for those out of treatment to address their specific needs.

"LUNGevity is pleased to provide a meaningful forum for lung cancer patients to come together, share, hope and heal," said LUNGevity Foundation President Andrea Stern Ferris. "In addition to funding lung cancer research, gathering, supporting and empowering the lung cancer community is an important part of what we do.  We founded Hope Month because there is hope in the fight against lung cancer, and it's important to help spread that message across the nation. The survivors attending our Summit exemplify the new hope for lung cancer patients."

 Featured speakers/participants include:

  • World renowned lung cancer expert Dr. David Carbone, a cancer survivor himself. Carbone is director of the James Thoracic Center at Ohio State University and a LUNGevity Science Board Member.
  • Susan Bratton, New York City, N.Y., Founder and CEO Meals to Heals, offering home delivery of healthy, nutritious meals that are customized for cancer patients' specific nutritional needs. Bratton founded the company after noticing the nutrition and appetite issues experienced by friends and family with cancer. Read more here.
  • Former minor league baseball player Darrell "Doc" Rodgers, 50, Cincinnati, Ohio, a non-smoker who was diagnosed with stage IV non-small cell lung cancer in 2010, and after intensive chemotherapy, is cancer free. Rodgers hosts a sports radio show and shares his battle with lung cancer to give others hope and inspiration. Read more here.
  • Matt Ellefson, 51, Sioux Falls, S.D., diagnosed with advanced non-small cell lung cancer in 2009. As a never smoker living a healthy lifestyle, he was shocked by his diagnosis.  Currently being treated with targeted therapy, Ellefson credits his current good health to his strong faith in God, the wisdom of  his doctors, a healthy and fit lifestyle (he runs half marathons), and the peace that comes with helping others. Ellefson volunteers with LUNGevity to help others affected by lung cancer. Watch his story here.
  • Anne Gallagher, 36, Eugene, Ore., a never smoker, after feeling sick for five years, was diagnosed at age 25 with a rare lung cancer tumor called neuroendocrine cancer. Post surgery, monthly hormone injections slow the tumor growth and make her feel better. In addition to managing her own cancer, Gallagher serves as a lung cancer advocate and spokesperson to make a difference in the lung cancer community. 

Inspirational lung cancer survivors attending the summit include people such as Don Stranathan, 60, Santa Rosa, Calif., and Penny Blume, 50, Sullivan County, N.Y. The couple, who both have lung cancer, met through an online medical community, after Strananthan responded to a question that Blume had posted.  After her lung cancer diagnosis, Blume's fiancée had called off the engagement. Stranathan's relationship with his girlfriend fell apart after she learned he had lung cancer.  The couple travels to see one another and support each other through their cancer.

  • To view the Hope Summit agenda and more participants, click here

LUNGevity conceived of the May Hope Month to celebrate the promise of lung cancer research that is giving the community hope for better treatments, improving lung cancer survival rates and ensuring a higher quality of life for lung cancer patients and their loved ones. The foundation is hosting many events in May to spread the message of hope and raise funds for critical lifesaving research.

The foundation offers many resources to the lung cancer community including the Lung Cancer Support Community, the largest dedicated social network providing support to anyone touched by lung cancer. As part of the online resources it offers, LUNGevity recently launched its Survivor Resource Center to support survivors at any stage of their lung cancer journey. The foundation also has a Caregiver Resource Center,  which offers emotional support, practical advice and patient advocacy advice, and other services for caregivers.

Sponsors of the Hope Summit include Genentech, Inc., Celgene Corporation, Eli Lilly and Company, Novartis, Boehringer Ingelheim, Cancer Treatment Centers of America and Morphotek Inc.

About LUNGevity Foundation

The mission of LUNGevity Foundation is to have a meaningful impact on improving lung cancer survival rates, ensure a higher quality of life for lung cancer patients, and provide a community for those impacted by lung cancer.

Through the support of critical research into the early detection and successful treatment of lung cancer, as well as providing information, resources and a community to patients and caregivers, LUNGevity is creating and sharing hope for cures, treatments and enhanced quality of life for lung cancer patients.  

LUNGevity seeks to inspire the nation to commit to ending lung cancer.

For more information, please visit

About Lung Cancer

  • 1 in 14 Americans is diagnosed with lung cancer in their lifetime
  • Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death, regardless of gender or ethnicity
  • Lung cancer kills almost twice as many women as breast cancer and more than three times as many men as prostate cancer
  • About 55% of all new lung cancer diagnoses are among people who have never smoked or are former smokers
  • Only 16% of all people diagnosed with lung cancer will survive 5 years or more, BUT if it's caught before it spreads, the chance for 5-year survival improves to 52%

SOURCE LUNGevity Foundation