Mayors, Police Chief, and NFL Player On Hand for Lung Cancer Awareness Proclamation
CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – “We hereby proclaim the month of November as Lung Cancer Awareness Month,” said Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger to a full Courthouse lobby. The lobby was filled with officials, police officers, and first responders , all to honor Lung Cancer Awareness. Mayor Coppinger and Chattanooga Mayor Tim Kelly presented the proclamation to CHI Memorial Hospital’s Chief of Thoracic Surgery Dr. Rob Headrick.
“Lung Cancer Awareness Month is super important to me because my mother had lung cancer which later metastasized and took her life. So it is near and dear to my heart,” says Mayor Kelly. Dr. Headrick says second to the Corona virus, lung cancer claims the most lives in Tennessee. “Unfortunately, we’re losing one person every two hours to lung cancer, but the great thing is, it is solvable,” says Headrick. Dr. Headrick says early detection is key.
“We can’t change somebody developing lung cancer but we can turn a lung cancer patient into lung cancer survivor if we detect it early,” says Headrick
Former Chattanooga Police Chief Freeman Cooper was honored at the ceremony. A non-smoker, Cooper is currently fighting lung cancer. Twenty percent of lung cancer patients never smoked. “We need as a people to take our loved ones, our friends, our family aware that lung cancer is a silent, deadly disease. And it usually doesn’t show itself until stage 4. Stage 4, there’s no cure for lung cancer,” says Freeman. Former NFL player Chris Draft was on hand to represent the Chris Draft Family Foundation. Draft lost his wife to lung cancer after only a month of marriage.
“The goal that we want with lung cancer awareness month, is to not just make people aware of lung cancer but to really make people aware that they can do something about it, that there is hope. And with hope, that we have survivors,” says Draft. CHI Memorial offers fast and easy lung cancer screening that is free to those in need.