A German Perspective on Lung Cancer

Our summer intern from Germany, Daniel.

Our summer intern from Germany, Daniel.

Let me be honest, I never believed in charitable organizations. When you come from Germany like I do, most things are provided by the state, be it universal healthcare or other government programs that will help you along the way should you ever struggle in life without having anyone to turn to. Therefore, I do believe that we are responsible for our brothers’ and sisters’ well-being and that we should care for one another, and that the government can be a means to that end. So why am I doing a placement here at Lung Cancer Alliance, you might rightly ask. Am I not contradicting myself? I would disagree, and the reason I would disagree is stigma!

Imagine you had a universal healthcare system and government programs that would be equipped to deal with any issues societies and individuals may encounter in their lifetime. These laws and regulations would still be made by people in parliament and governments. This is the crux of the problem, because stigma does not disappear once you enter the corridors of power. It follows you all the way, as I experienced first-hand on my first day on Capitol Hill.

It is this stigma of self-infliction that everyone affected by lung cancer, as well as their family and friends, have to deal with day in and day out. By the way, just to be very clear here, what does it matter why someone has this horrible disease? The all-important question is: does he or she need help? This is the reason I wanted to intern at Lung Cancer Alliance. That is how I grew up, and what my parents taught me: if you have the ability to help someone, in any shape or form, small or big, help those who don’t get much help from anywhere else. And for this reason, I do believe in Lung Cancer Alliance.

-Daniel, LCA Summer Intern



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