Deana Hendrickson was galvanized into lung cancer advocacy after her mother was diagnosed in June, 2012. As her mother began treatment, Deana began to see first-hand the disparities between how lung cancer is stigmatized and even funded, in contrast to other types of cancer.
Deana mobilized through social media and collected almost ten thousand signatures to pressure the agency that recommends which screenings are covered under Medicare, demanding that an effective lung cancer screening be included as well.
Deana has campaigned for equal funding for lung cancer research after seeing how many younger people were affected by the disease, and how it’s unfairly and inaccurately perceived to be primarily the result of smoking.
“I assumed people did it to themselves,” Deana says, “That cancer was cancer and everybody was the same. I didn’t know that it had anything to do with funding.”
In reality, lung cancer is the second most common cancer among both men and women in the United States, yet it ranks near the bottom in research funding. In addition, lung cancer kills more people than breast, pancreatic, and colorectal cancer- combined.
Deana’s mother died in early 2013. Today, Deana continues her advocacy for lung cancer funding and awareness to honor her mother’s memory.