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Lung Cancer Champion Becomes Secretary of Defense


Washington, DC [February 27, 2013]—This photo was taken on March 28, 2006 in the U.S. Capitol during Lung Cancer Alliance's (LCA) first conference in Washington DC, for LCA advocates from around the country. As a pre-arranged surprise for the advocates, then Senators Hilary Clinton (D-NY) (center) Chuck Hagel (R-NE) joined the meeting to announce that they were going to the floor of the Senate that afternoon to introduce the first legislation ever on lung cancer. 

LCA President and CEO Laurie Fenton-Ambrose (left) remembers, "the advocates were stunned when the Senators walked in the room, and even more stunned when they made their announcement. Practically everyone was crying. It was a very emotional moment for everyone, including the senators. The resolution they introduced that day was passed by the Senate a few weeks later and laid the bipartisan political foundation for Lung Cancer Mortality Reduction Act, a centerpiece of LCA's efforts to change federal health policy on lung cancer.”

Both went on to cabinet positions, Senator Clinton as Secretary of State during President Obama's first term and Senator Hagel as the newly sworn in Secretary of Defense. While we certainly admire them and are grateful for their remarkable careers in service to our country, we cannot help but remember how they became our champions that very special day.