SAN FRANCISCO, March 8, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation (BJALCF), a worldwide leader in efforts to eliminate Lung Cancer, announced today that they have launched the creation of a new Advisory Board made up of 21 promising young professionals who have each been personally touched by Lung Cancer. The Board has been called "Jill's Legacy" in memorial of the 22-year-old college student and athlete at U.C. Berkeley, Jillian Costello, who lost her battle with Lung Cancer in June of 2010, just one year after being diagnosed.
What's this group's mission? Simple: to be the driving force in significantly increasing the stagnant 15.5% survival rate of the world's number one cancer killer—Lung Cancer.
BJALCF namesake and Chairman of the Board, Bonnie Addario, believes they are just the people to do it, saying, "I am inspired and extremely hopeful about the message that these incredible young people can send to the world about Lung Cancer. They can unearth the truth about this disease and substantially impact funding for research."
Echoing Bonnie's enthusiasm is BJALCF's President and CEO Scott Santarella, saying, "Our group of young-adults is incredibly tech savvy, they have embraced the give-back philosophy and are extremely creative and energetic. I have no doubt they will help us create new initiatives to help Lung Cancer patients and their families."
With its oldest member just 25-years-old, this Board of empowered young adults is largely made up of Jill's closest friends and loved ones. Bryce Atkinson, Jill's long-time boyfriend, will serve on the Executive Committee as President of the Board. Other Executive Committee members include Jessica Morello, Jill's cousin who will serve as Vice President; Kristina Renda, High School classmate of Jill's who also lost her father and grandmother to Lung Cancer and will serve as Secretary; K.C. Oakley, Jill's closest friend at U.C. Berkeley, who will serve as Treasurer; Taylor Bell, a North Carolina-based 24-year-old Lung Cancer survivor herself; Sahil Patel, who lost his mother to the disease and is studying to be a thoracic surgeon in her honor; Darby Anderson, one of Jill's closest friends who has dedicated her life to the cause; and Elizabeth Button, Jill's life-long friend who is studying Law in San Francisco.
The Board will also consist of six other committees: Science and Research, "Fun" Raising, Finance, Corporate Sponsorship, Public Awareness and Social Media. Members of each committee are also friends of Jill who want to be part of the elimination of the disease that took their young friend from them too soon.
"Essentially, we want to make a change in the way Lung Cancer is viewed in society and treated in medicine. While other cancers have benefitted from modern science and research and exceeded survival rates of 95%, the survival rate for Lung Cancer hasn't budged from 15.5% in 40 years. That is unacceptable to us and that's something we have to change," says Jill's Legacy Executive Committee member, Kristina Renda.
These young people have all seen first-hand that anyone can get Lung Cancer, not just smokers. Through various educational vehicles and fund-raising efforts, they are out to spread the word.
"They say that wisdom comes with age. I think in this age of information technology, wisdom comes quicker for the younger generations and it comes without past prejudice," says Sheila Von Driska, BJALCF Executive Director, "The members of Jill's Legacy have no patience or time for a stigma that has kept Lung Cancer in the shadows for over 40 years. I believe Jill's Legacy is revolutionizing the way society views Lung Cancer and because of them, we're going to witness a rapid intelligent change in the survival rate of Lung Cancer."
For more information go to: www.jillslegacy.org
About the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation (BJALCF)
BJALCF is one of the largest philanthropies and recognized force devoted exclusively to eradicating lung cancer through research, early detection, education, prevention, and treatment. The Foundation works with a diverse group of physicians, organizations, industry partners, individuals, survivors, and their families to identify solutions and make timely and meaningful change. BJALCF was established in 2006 as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and has raised over five million dollars for Lung Cancer. Contact: Sheila Von Driska, Executive Director, email@example.com/415.357.1278/www.lungcancerfoundation.org
SOURCE Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation