Helping Others Shine Their Light


Kristen McAvoy, Events & Volunteers Manager

By Kristen McAvoy, Lung Cancer Alliance’s Events & Volunteers Manager

When I moved to Washington, D.C. three years ago to work on Capitol Hill I wasn’t sure where I was going to land. I only knew that I wanted to affect positive change in the world, but I had no idea how I was going to do it. Then I found Lung Cancer Alliance.

My alarm goes off every morning at 7:15am giving me an hour to get ready and then start my mile and a half walk to work. Like many DC commuters, I listen to Pandora to get pumped for the day and I get to work between 8:30 and 9:00am. Once at my desk, the majority of my day is spent answering one question: “What is Shine a Light and how can I raise awareness for lung cancer in my community?”

I am proud to respond that Shine a Light on Lung Cancer is the largest coordinated awareness event for lung cancer in the United States and anyone can host or attend this great event to educate and raise awareness in their community. I then take the steps necessary to help advocates plan their Shine a Light event and reach their goals.

Three years ago, I could not have imagined that I would be managing the largest coordinated awareness event for any issue area, but I am honored to raise awareness for a disease that really needs my attention. I have managed the program since 2014 and I am thrilled to say that 172 events were hosted nationwide last year, a 20% increase from 2013.

I feel so lucky to spend my days helping lung cancer survivors, their families and friends change outcomes for a disease by hosting fundraising and awareness events. The enthusiasm and dedication that these advocates have inspire me to push on. We are aiming for 300 Shine a Light events nationwide this year, which would be the largest, widest reaching event yet!

At 5:00pm I turn my computer off, excited about the people I will meet tomorrow, the innovative ideas they will bring to the table and how, together, we will affect positive change in the world.

To learn more about Shine a Light on Lung Cancer and to find one in your community, click here!

If you are interested in hosting a Shine a Light event please contact Kristen McAvoy at