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Joining the Movement

  • June 17 2014

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    Joining the Movement

    Julie C., right, shares why the Lung Cancer Action Summit helped her take the next step in her lung cancer advocacy efforts.


    Attending the Summit allowed me to heal, to teach, to inspire, and to participate in a truly incredible movement that is so much bigger than any one person.

    I first heard of the Summit after getting an email from Free to Breathe because I had signed up for the 5K in San Diego. After having just lost a close friend a couple months prior, I was looking for more ways to get involved in the fight against lung cancer, so I applied immediately and crossed my fingers that I would get accepted.

    Before the Summit, my advocacy efforts were basically just getting friends and family to join my 5K team. I wasn't sure how else I could help to spread awareness. While in Dallas for the Summit I learned of many different ways to help, from something as small as dropping symptoms bookmarks off at my local library to the much larger task of taking on the Event Chair role for the 5K in my area. After leaving the summit, I decided to take on the Event Chair role for the San Diego Free to Breathe 5K and started gathering a committee to help me.

    Brewery Photos

    Julie's awareness-raising display at the brewery fundraising nights.

    I also was able to get a proclamation from the County of San Diego to declare November as Lung Cancer Awareness month. One of my favorite achievements, though, was enlisting a local brewery to allow me to come in to pass out materials to their patrons one night a week for the month of February and they donated part of their proceeds from ALL sales throughout those days back to Free to Breathe – a total of more than $700! It was great to get out and meet people while sharing information about lung cancer that many people didn't know.

    In all my advocacy efforts, I am inspired by my fellow advocates. Seeing how hard they work and the energy they put into raising lung cancer awareness helps to keep me motivated. I made lifelong friends at the Summit and keep in touch with them regularly, with the help of social media. We cheer each other on and give each other support, it's truly a beautiful thing.

    If I had the chance, I would tell anyone considering applying for the Summit that the experience they are about to get is one that you cannot put a price on. It truly is such a unique experience to be in the same room as so many other people who have gone through what you have gone through, because you instantly have a bond that cannot be put into words. Plus, the amount of knowledge you gain in that weekend is incredible. I went home that weekend with a wealth of knowledge that I was able to use to help fight the lung cancer stigma and inspire other advocates in my community.


    Join Julie in building the lung cancer movement. Learn more, and apply for the 2014 Lung Cancer Action Summit!

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