Shine a light on lung cancer

Whitney Minnick, left, and Janel Grimes, both of Broadway, and Rebecca Hoyt and Bonnie Moore, both of Timberville, listen to U.S. Rep. Bob Goodlatte R-Roanoke, speak during the seventh annual National Shine a Light on Lung Cancer event at the New Market Fire Department on Thursday night. They are members of the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Relay for Life team. Rich Cooley/Daily
Josette Miller, of New Market, sheds tears after sharing her story about her mother, who died from lung cancer, at the seventh annual National Shine a Light on Lung Cancer event Thursday. Rich Cooley/Daily
U.S. Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Roanoke, speaks during the seventh annual National Shine a Light on Lung Cancer event held Thursday at the New Market Fire Department. Rich Cooley/Daily
U.S. Rep. Bob Goodlate, R-Roanoke, listens to a speaker during the seventh annual National Shine a Light on Lung Cancer event held at the New Market Fire Department on Thursday night. Rich Cooley/Daily
Josette Miller holds a lighted flashlight during a moment of silence recognizing lung cancer victims. Rich Cooley/Daily

NEW MARKET — Advocates for lung cancer awareness gathered across the nation on Thursday for the seventh annual national Shine a Light on Lung Cancer.

Locally, advocates and U.S. Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Roanoke, gathered at the New Market Fire Hall on Thursday to discuss lung cancer and offer support.

Josette Miller, of New Market, has been an advocate  since her mother passed away from lung cancer.

“If everyone stays silent, how do you expect change?” Miller said.

She and her husband Paul are part of Lung Cancer Alliance, a group that advocates for lung cancer awareness around the county.

Among those in attendance Thursday was U.S. Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Roanoke, who spoke on why lung cancer is an important legislative matter for those in government.

Goodlatte said the Lung Cancer Alliance is “committed to making circumstance better” for those suffering from this disease.

“I’ve met a lot of people who are dealing with a very severe, serious problem,” Goodlatte said. “They have lung cancer themselves, they may have family members, they may know somebody or lost somebody.”

Goodlatte said nearly 25 percent of cancer deaths in Virginia are from lung cancer.

He listed some well-known people in history who have died from lung cancer, including Walt Disney, Claude Monet, Peter Jennings and Nat King Cole.

“We lost their lives,” he said.  “We are here to remember all the lost lives and be thankful to those who have survived. To offer encouragement and support to those currently fighting the disease, and to remind everyone that each life matters, each person matters.”

Goodlatte is a member of the Congressional Lung Cancer Caucus. According to Goodlatte, this caucus was created to educate members of Congress and their staffs about the issues surrounding lung cancer. It seeks to eliminate the stigma surrounding lung cancer, improve survivorship and promote access to preventative screenings, research, treatment and testing.

Contact staff writer Kaley Toy at 540-465-5137 ext. 176, or ktoy@nvdaily.com

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