The American Lung Association recently congratulated NASCAR driver Mackena Bell, who is serving as an honorary spokesperson for LUNG FORCE, a national movement to raise awareness and to fight lung cancer in women. Bell raced in the NASCAR Nationwide series DAV200″Honoring America’s Veterans.” The competition took place at the Phoenix International Raceway on November 8.
Bell lost her grandfather to lung cancer. “He never missed any of my races,” she said. She joined the American Lung Association’s new national movement, LUNG FORCE, to help raise money to be used in lung cancer research through Lung Force Team Mackena — “We are in a race for our lives.” At just twenty-four years old, Bell is serving as an inspirational model for young women by being the only female graduate of NASCAR’s Drive to Diversity Program to race in the Nationwide series and remain deeply philanthropic.
Lung cancer is the leading cancer killer among women; however, only one percent of women are aware of it, according to the American Lung Association’s inaugural Women’s Lung Health Barometer (a survey that measured women’s awareness and knowledge about the disease).
“Despite its overwhelming impact, it is clear that too few women are aware that anyone can get lung cancer (…) Voices like Mackena Bell’s, who has been personally impacted by this disease are important to raise awareness of lung cancer. We are dedicated to increasing the Lung Association’s investment in lung cancer research and are pushing to increase the investment in cancer research at the National Institutes of Health,” said the National President and Chief Executive Officer of the American Lung Association, Harold Wimmer.
LUNG FORCE was launched this year, and its goal is to unite women against lung cancer and to promote lung health by encouraging them to raise their voices to achieve fundraising and advocacy goals. The movement is making lung cancer in women a public health priority by influencing policy and increasing research funding.
Along with Mackena, other celebrities such as the actress and author Valerie Harper, Emmy-nominated singer-songwriter Jewel, and Grammy-nominated country music star Kellie Pickler are raising their voices in support of lung cancer awareness.