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Alliance to shine light on lung cancer

Shine a Light Vigil a call to action on fighting major killer

Betsy McPhail reflects at a memory board after her 25-year-old sister died of lung cancer.

Betsy McPhail reflects at a memory board after her 25-year-old sister died of lung cancer. Submitted Photo

— “Anyone can get lung cancer. You don’t have to smoke, you don’t have to be old,” McPhail said. “Unfortunately (it’s) something that’s becoming more and more common, especially in young women.”

To help raise awareness, Goldstein, McPhail and the Albany Medical Center will be coordinating the fourth annual Shine a Light Vigil for the LCA-NY Chapter on Tuesday, Nov. 13, at 6 p.m. at the Albany Medical Center Hilton Garden Inn. McPhail will be speaking on behalf of her sister and Albany County Executive Dan McCoy will read a proclamation declaring November as Lung Cancer Awareness Month.

The purpose of the vigil is to provide hope, compassion and support to the lung cancer community. Goldstein said the chapter is also looking for support to advocate for legislation. Lung cancer is the “least funded cancer of all the major cancers for research” although it is the “leading cancer killer,” she said. Two bills are before Congress, including the Lung Cancer Mortality Reduction Act, to help fund lung cancer research.

The event’s other goal is to simply increase awareness about the disease and how it can strike even nonsmokers. As evidenced by the stories Goldstein has encountered through her work, that is something all too often misunderstood.

As for her own journey, Goldstein still gets checked annually and said she’s doing well.

“So far, so good,” Goldstein said.

For more information on the alliance or the vigil, visit www.albanyvigil.kintera.org.

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