In the audio interview above, learn about how the Addario Lung Cancer Foundation and Addario Lung Cancer Medical Institute are working to make progress in lung cancer screening and treatment.
Bonnie J. Addario was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2004, but that wasn’t her turning point. It was when she discovered that the survival rate for lung cancer had been stagnant for decades – and that millions of people were dying every year.
“I realized there was this huge injustice facing people with lung cancer. There was a stigma attached because it was seen as a smoker’s disease. It wasn’t getting the funding for research and patients weren’t getting the same care they should have,” Addario says. “Well, that just got me going. That just lit my fire.”
After recovering from surgery and treatment, Bonnie moved quickly, establishing the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation (ALCF) in 2006 to educate and empower people diagnosed with lung cancer so they could make better decisions about care and treatment. Just two years later, the Addario Lung Cancer Medical Institute (ALCMI) was established, because Bonnie wanted to drive lung cancer research further and faster.
These two organizations have initiated and run a full spectrum of programs and projects: patient services, awareness and advocacy, community outreach -- even research and clinical trials.
The impact of ALCF and ALCMI is clear in the candid words of Samantha Mixon, a young mother who was diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer in 2012: “In the beginning you feel very alone. I wanted to find something uplifting, and that’s when I found the Addario Foundation.”
From her home in St. Simon’s Island, Georgia, Samantha first tuned into the ALCF Lung Cancer Living Room live-stream online. She participated in the ALCMI-sponsored Genomics of Young Lung Study, which revealed that more than 75% of young lung cancer patients have a targeted mutation. And with encouragement from Bonnie and the foundation, she blogs her personal story in hopes that she, too, will help change who and what people envision when they hear the words lung cancer.
Since 2008, Genentech has supported ALCF and ALCMI in their work to address critical challenges like access to treatment in rural areas and care for young adults with lung cancer. In less than 10 years, they have launched and expanded the reach of the Living Room to new geographies and languages, developed new patient education materials, driven scientific discoveries and initiated new outreach programs that have reached thousands around the world.