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Hope for Lung Cancer Research Dollars in California: The Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation (BJALCF) Applauds Landmark Legislation to Push through Funding for Lung Cancer Research in California
Date:1/9/2009

SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- Today is "a moment in history" in the battle against Lung Cancer -- the Number One Cancer Killer, thanks to California Assembly Member Tom Torlakson (D-11th District). His compassion and tireless efforts working with our Foundation, doctors, patients and researchers to get legislation fighting this killer cancer, became reality with the introduction of Assembly Bill (AB 89) in the California legislature, today.

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20090109/LAF050)

"Senator Tom Torlakson and I have been working together to get a bill like this introduced for over two years," said Bonnie Addario, BJALCF founder and Lung Cancer survivor. (http://www.lungcancerfoundation.org) "This has been a long time in planning and we are overjoyed that in the midst of such turmoil in our economy and in our country, Assembly Member Tom Torlakson made the time to move this forward."

"AB 89 will provide much needed funding for Lung Cancer research while saving our state billions in tobacco-related health care costs," said California Assembly Member Torlakson. "This creative solution will help protect our most precious resources -- our children and our health. I look forward to working with organizations on the front lines of Lung Cancer research, such as the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation, to get this important law passed this year."

Addario, who trekked to the state Capitol to meet the then California State Senator Torlakson, last August, to push for Lung Cancer research legislation, said it will take a considerable amount of work to see this through, but today "has been a long time coming."

Addario has pledged the Foundation's ongoing endorsement and commitment to push this through and to create a united front with alliance partners. "Our 'survivors', their families and the other organizations we are partnering with like the Lung Cancer Alliance and the Beverly Fund, to name a few, are aligned in doing all they can to assist Assembly Member Tom Torlakson and his staff," said Addario. "Senators Chuck Hagel, Dianne Feinstein, Hillary Clinton, Sam Brownback, and others, have been working hard and fast on the Federal level. It's going to take a village, every state, the entire country, our new President, and a worldwide determination to bring the survival rate up, up, up for Lung Cancer. It's our turn."

Lung Cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths nationally, internationally, and in California. Lung Cancer claims more lives each year than breast, prostate, colon, liver, melanoma, and kidney cancers combined.

In 2008, an estimated 18,060 Californians will be diagnosed with Lung Cancer and 13,100 will die from the disease. Over 70% are diagnosed at late stage -- accounting for the abysmal 15.5% five-year survival rate. It's time to change this.

Torlakson's Bill, introduced today, imposes an additional $2.10 tax on a pack of cigarettes and will generate approximately $2 billion annually that will fund Lung Cancer research, tobacco cessation services, education, children's health care and general health care.

About Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation (BJALCF)

BJALCF is one of the nation's largest philanthropies devoted exclusively to eradicating Lung Cancer through research, early detection, education, prevention, and treatment. The Foundation works with a diverse group of physicians, organizations, individuals, and survivors to identify solutions and make timely and meaningful change. BJALCF was established in 2006 as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and has raised over 3.5 million dollars for Lung Cancer. Contact: Sheila Von Driska, Executive Director, sheila@lungcancerfoundation.org/415.357.1278


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SOURCE Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation
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