It is often hard to put into words what Team Vogel has become. I find myself reflecting each year...
Year 1 - Bittersweet to watch Joe see his dream in action...knowing it would be the only one he would be able to be at in person.
Year 2 - Good Therapy...Keeping busy and keeping my mind off things.
Year 3 - Overwhelmed (Sometimes in a good way. Othertimes...) Trying to find the new me and what that life looks like. I will be honest, it was sometimes hard to face Team Vogel...
Year 4 - Excited and BUSY. Team Vogel has become what Joe would have wanted. People "Paying it Forward" in their personal way. I'm excited to take part in the events and I embrace all the new ideas that come our way. It is amazing what one dream can become.
I hope you can join us and be a part of the Team...
2nd Annual - Brew Review...
3rd Annual - Team Vogel Golf Outing...
Turbo Kick - Benefitting Team Vogel
Lung Cancer Statistics...
Welcome to L4L
Our primary purpose is to educate the general public about lung cancer, raise money to fund lung cancer research, and provide useful resources and information for families and individuals struggling with lung cancer.
Living For Liz was created to honor Elizabeth Holman-Melde, a non smoker, who passed away seven short months after being diagnosed with lung cancer in September, 2011. She had just gotten married and was 25 years old.
We can make a difference together.
At their Thank You Event, Dr. Simon Shelly, director of cancer research at Gundersen Luteran Medical Foundation, spoke on lung cancer. The statistics are troubling and the more informed we are - the more we share this information - the more we can make a difference. Here are notes from Dr. Shelly's speech...
- Lung cancer kills about 160 thousand (in the US) people each year.
...Just think about that for a minute: That’s the equivalent of having 3
towns like La Crosse wiped off the map every year!
- Lung cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States;
...only heart disease kills more people.
- Lung cancer kills more people than breast cancer, prostate cancer, colon cancer and pancreatic cancer - COMBINED!
- Lung cancer kills 2X more women than breast cancer
- Lung cancer kills 3X more men than prostate cancer
- 85% of lung cancer patients will die within 5 years
- Survival from lung cancer has improved only about 5% in 35 years
So what’s going on here?
Here we have a disease that kills a staggering number of people but we have done barely anything about it!
What’s the reason?
Well, I think I can give you 3 major ones:
First: Lung kills fast and it kills efficiently; so we have few survivors to advocate for themselves. For example, Liz cannot stand here and tell you her story; Living-4-Liz has to stand here on her behalf and not many lung cancer victims are so lucky.
Second: Lung cancer victims suffer a stigma that few other diseases carry. If a person with lung cancer says “I have lung cancer”, what’s the first question the’re often get asked? It’s “Did you smoke?”.
Even if you quit 20 years ago this question instantly sends the message that lung cancer is your fault.
So folks become ashamed and clam up.
And this question is totally unfair!
For one thing we would never think of asking someone with colon cancer if they ate too many cheese burgers or hot dogs!
The other thing is that lung cancer is not just a smokers disease
Each year about 50,000 people are diagnosed with lung cancer who have never smoked.
There are other causes like:
Radon gas building up in your basement
Asbestos from insulation
and a whole bunch of other things...
So I have a third reason why lung cancer does not get the attention it deserves;
It’s the tobacco lobby!
What other disease can you think of that has a powerful pressure group in Washington that tries to suppress awareness?
(At this time he showed us cigarette packages from other countries - they all clearly and in large print on the front stated smoking kills...American packages have a small note on the side (barely legible)that says “Contains carbon monoxide” That’s it! Contains carbon monoxide! No worries! It’s nothing!)
The FDA tried to put warning labels of American cigarettes but they were blocked by the tobacco lobby.
The end result of these things is that there is comparatively little public pressure to fund lung cancer research.
-Lack of pressure means lack of funds
-Lack of funds means lack of research
-And lack of research means lack of progress and people die.
So what can we do about it?
The first thing is to support organizations like Living-4-Liz.
Second: write to congress - call them up!
- Ask them for more support for lung cancer research
- Ask them to get proper warnings on cigarette packets
The third thing we should try to do is be more caring for lung cancer victims:
Let’s not make them ashamed
Let’s embrace them
Let’s lift them up
I wish all of you could have been at this event. It was extremely powerful and moving. Dr. Shelly had a way of sharing all this information and positively moving the audience. Cancer is everywhere... There are all different types... Together we can make a difference.
...and the Easter Bunny
So I will leave you with this...