CHICAGO, Oct. 29, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- As part of Lung Cancer Awareness Month this November, Emmy-winning actress and author Valerie Harper, Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter Jewel, country music singer Kellie Pickler and female NASCAR standout Mackena Bell are teaming up with the American Lung Association's LUNG FORCE to raise awareness and much needed funds to help confront lung cancer in women.
Lung cancer is the #1 cancer killer of women. Yet, the disease is not even on women's radar, according to the American Lung Association's inaugural Women's Lung Health Barometer — a survey that measured women's awareness, knowledge and perceptions about lung cancer. When asked to identify cancers that affect women, only 1 percent cited lung cancer on a top-of-mind basis.
"Despite its overwhelming impact, it is clear that too few women are aware that anyone can get lung cancer," said Harold Wimmer, National President and Chief Executive Officer of the American Lung Association. "With greater awareness, through LUNG FORCE, we are dedicated to increasing the Lung Association's investment in lung cancer research and are pushing to increase the investment in cancer research at the National Institutes of Health."
Launched earlier this year, LUNG FORCE, nationally presented by CVS Health, unites women against lung cancer and for lung health, encouraging them to raise their voices for change. Through nationwide efforts, LUNG FORCE is making lung cancer in women a public health priority, driving policy change and increasing research funding.
Female Stars Enlist Support for LUNG FORCE Teams To help confront the issue of lung cancer, Valerie Harper, Jewel, Kellie Pickler and Mackena Bell are each launching their own online LUNG FORCE virtual fundraising team where people can donate and raise much needed money for lung cancer research, education and treatment. Anyone can register and fundraise for a celebrity LUNG FORCE team by visiting LUNGFORCE.org.
Valerie Harper, known for her role as Rhoda Morgenstern in The Mary Tyler Moore Show and its spin-off, Rhoda, is a lung cancer survivor and LUNG FORCE champion. "As a lung cancer survivor, I am honored to serve as a passionate voice for the LUNG FORCE movement," said Harper. "Together, we can make enormous changes in the fight against lung cancer. I welcome everyone to join LUNG FORCE Team Valerie to raise critically necessary funds for research, advocacy and education to address this pressing public health issue."
For her part, Jewel unveiled an original LUNG FORCE anthem, 'Sing On,' earlier this year. The song is about empowering women and is available on iTunes with all proceeds benefiting LUNG FORCE and the fight against lung cancer in women. "I want women across the country to know that there is hope and that we are all raising our voices in support of their battle," said Jewel. "I am committed to seeing LUNG FORCE succeed in the fight to save women's lives. And I ask women to join me at LUNG FORCE Team Jewel to raise money in this fight."
Kellie Pickler has been part of LUNG FORCE from day one. Lung cancer took the woman who helped raise Kellie, her grandmother, a woman she has called her angel. "I'm raising my voice to let women know there is hope in the fight against lung cancer. Join me at LUNG FORCE Team Kellie to raise money to spread awareness of lung cancer, reduce lung cancer risks and support those affected."
And NASCAR's Mackena Bell, one of only four women drivers is part of this fight. Mackena lost her grandfather, whom she called Papa, to lung cancer. "We are in a race for our lives. Help us win the race against lung cancer by contributing money to LUNG FORCE Team Mackena."
For many Americans, showing their support can also mean giving their time in addition to donating money. The American Lung Association hosts more than 50 health education and fundraising LUNG FORCE Walks in communities across the country. People can also show their support by visiting LUNGFORCE.org to take the LUNG FORCE pledge, lend their voice by telling their story or advocating for more research and education.
About LUNG FORCE LUNG FORCE is a new national movement led by the American Lung Association to unite women against lung cancer, the #1 cancer killer of women. LUNG FORCE has three priorities: 1) Make lung cancer a cause that people care about – and act on; 2) Educate and empower patients and healthcare providers and 3) Raise critical funds for lung cancer research. The American Lung Association's LUNG FORCE is nationally presented by CVS Health. Find out more at LUNGFORCE.org.
About The Women's Lung Health Barometer The Women's Lung Health Barometer was fielded online by Edelman Berland in January 2014 and included 1007 women in the U.S., ages 18+. The data were weighted to be nationally representative on age, region and race/ethnicity. The margin of error is +/-3.0%. Edelman Berland is a global, full-service market research firm that provides corporate, non-profit and government clients with strategic intelligence to make their communications and engagements with stakeholders the smartest they can be. The firm specializes in qualitative and quantitative research, measurement, tracking and analysis in reputation, branding and communications.
About the American Lung Association 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.
About CVS Health CVS Health is a pharmacy innovation company helping people on their path to better health. Through our 7,700 retail pharmacies, more than 900 walk-in medical clinics, a leading pharmacy benefits manager with nearly 65 million plan members, and expanding specialty pharmacy services, we enable people, businesses and communities to manage health in more affordable, effective ways. This unique integrated model increases access to quality care, delivers better health outcomes and lowers overall health care costs. Find more information about how CVS Health is shaping the future of health at www.cvshealth.com.