When it comes to fighting cancer, we’re all on the same team

Lisa McGovern, Executive Director, Congressional Families Cancer Prevention Program | Published on December 13, 2018

Recently, I had the opportunity to travel to the northernmost part of Michigan to see one of the Prevent Cancer Foundation’s community grantees in action. Joining me in their home state to visit McLaren Northern Michigan Hospital were fellow congressional spouses and members of the Foundation’s Congressional Families Cancer Prevention Program, Colleen Ochoa Peters (wife of Sen. Gary Peters, D-MI) and Cindy Bergman (wife of Rep. Jack Bergman, R-MI).

It makes me proud that just two days after the midterm elections, we were able to come together as a bipartisan group to raise awareness about lung cancer screening and prevention and the great work being done at McLaren Northern Michigan. Cancer doesn’t care what party you support—when it comes to fighting cancer, we are all on the same team.

We were also joined by Ellen Noghès (spouse of Amb. Gilles Noghès, former ambassador of Monaco to the U.S.), who returned to her native Michigan after leaving Washington. While in Washington, she had served as diplomatic liaison for the Prevent Cancer Foundation® and the Congressional Families Program Cancer Prevention Program.

The McLaren Northern Michigan Foundation was selected to receive a grant by an external panel of experts through a competitive process this year that awarded only 12 grants across the U.S. With this grant, McLaren Northern Michigan will be able to provide lung cancer screenings to 400 patients and education about lung cancer prevention to 1,350 community members across 22 rural counties in Michigan. It will also enable them to join the national Lung Cancer Screening Registry, which will help eliminate financial barriers for patients.

Despite the cold weather that greeted us in Michigan, we felt such warmth from representatives of McLaren Northern Michigan Foundation and McLaren Northern Michigan Hospital, who welcomed us for a tour of the Karmanos Cancer Institute. During our tour, they updated us on the progress of the lung cancer screening program. We also heard from nurse navigator Jeanne Melton and oncology social worker Andrea Cherry, who shared moving stories of the patients who have been supported by McLaren Northern Michigan. Justin Klamerus, M.D., President of the Karmanos Cancer Center, spoke about the Karmanos Cancer Network, which expands access to cancer care for residents throughout Michigan with 15 treatment locations.

We congressional spouses were privileged to visit with this amazing group and learn firsthand about their important, lifesaving work in cancer prevention and early detection. We look forward to seeing the impact they will make on the communities they serve!

This is just one look at the extraordinary contributions our Prevent Cancer Foundation® grantees make in communities across the country. Learn more about our community grants here.

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