On August 16, NASCAR driver Mackena Bell will be at Virginia International Raceway, racing for the checkered flag and to help stop the clock on lung cancer, the #1 cancer killer of women in the United States.
A K&N Pro Series East driver, Bell pilots the Special Smiles Pediatric Dentistry Toyota Camry 21*. She has joined the American Lung Association and national presenting sponsor, CVS Caremark, as an honorary spokesperson for LUNG FORCE, a new effort to make lung cancer in women a public health priority, drive policy change and increase research funding.
Bell’s personal connection to lung cancer results from having lost her grandfather – the man who inspired and encouraged her love for racing – to the disease.
“My papa was always my biggest fan and came to nearly all my races. When he was diagnosed with lung cancer, we were devastated,” Bell said. “Just six weeks later, heaven gained an angel. In honor of my papa’s memory, I have joined LUNG FORCE to fight the #1 cancer killer in the U.S.”
By adding her voice to LUNG FORCE, Bell is working to educate women nationwide to help increase the likelihood they will make healthy decisions about their own lung health and influence the decisions made by the men, women and children they love.
According to the Lung Association's first Women's Lung Health Barometer, a survey of more than 1,000 American women, current awareness about the impact of lung cancer in women is extremely low. Even though lung cancer has long been the top cancer killer of women, the Barometer revealed that only 1 percent of women named the disease as a cancer that is top-of-mind for them. Furthermore, statistics show that, on average, fewer than half of all women with lung cancer will be alive one year after diagnosis. And anyone can get lung cancer – two-thirds of lung cancer cases are in those who have never smoked or have successfully quit smoking.
“Mackena Bell is giving us a unique opportunity to raise public awareness about lung cancer in women,” said Dennis Alexander, “By speaking out about lung cancer as she travels the country racing, Mackena is helping change people’s thinking about the disease and how it impacts families, bringing much-needed attention to the lung cancer risk factors everyone needs to know about.”
Locally and across the nation, LUNG FORCE will educate and empower patients and healthcare providers, focus public policy on addressing the disease and its causes, and raise critical funds for research into better detection and targeted treatments for lung cancer.
The American Lung Association of Virginia offers several resources for individuals and families that have been impacted by lung cancer. Anyone seeking help can visit Facing Lung Cancer (www.mylungcancersupport.org), powered by the American Lung Association, our comprehensive education and support website developed specifically for patients and caregivers. Assistance is also available through the Lung Association’s Lung Helpline at 1-800-LUNG-USA, which connects callers to information, resources and support services.
Rev Racing PR