By Laurie Fenton Ambrose, President & CEO

I am thankful every day for the champions in the lung cancer community. Our advocates—who educate our policymakers about the urgent need for research funding. Our motivators—working to make us act in the name of hope. Our listeners—there when support is most needed.

Yesterday was the March equinox and the first day of spring; it also marked World Storytelling Day. That means that today I am celebrating champions who are our storytellers. These are the individuals who use their eloquence to spread awareness, share compassion, inspire action, honor loved ones and bring optimism to the lung cancer community.

One wonderful storyteller was the late Richard Heimler, well-known in the community and a former member of our Board of Directors. He was a realist who chronicled his journey with empathy for everyone touched by lung cancer. Richard was a sought-after speaker who exemplified a story of compassion.

I’m pleased that Lung Cancer Alliance has established the Rays of Hope Award to honor Richard’s work and to provide a platform for other storytellers following Richard’s lead. The award will recognize an eloquent storyteller who utilizes credible and motivating information to inspire lung cancer patients, advocates and those at risk.

Nominations for the award are open until May 1, 2019. I encourage you to nominate the storyteller you know that has achieved recognition through regional or national speaking engagements, published articles, social media followings and/or by establishing meaningful programs. To learn more about award criteria and recognition, please visit the Rays of Hope website.

Championing the champions in the lung cancer community helps all of us move the needle of hope. The awareness, the compassion, the facts, the motivation—our champions lead us and the general public in a positive direction.

Thank you.

Laurie Fenton Ambrose
President & CEO
Lung Cancer Alliance

P.S. You can share your personal story with the broader community through our website and social media. We’ve made it easy to share online, but you can always contact us directly at