Changing our thinking about lung cancer in women is crucial. Sharing the alarming statistics is only the beginning for singer-songwriter Jewel Kilcher, who’s committed to educating others about the disease.
“I was very surprised that lung cancer was the No. 1 killer for women,” explains the multi-platinum recording artist, author, actress and mother. “I had no idea, which made me realize a lot of families must also be unaware.”
Compelled to speak out
Jewel says, after learning the facts about women and lung cancer, she had no choice but to do her part.
“I am a passionate advocate for health issues. We can’t fix what we don’t know about.”
Staying silent simply wasn’t an option.
“Our health is our true wealth, but often, understanding the issues and finding proper care and solutions is difficult and scary,” she says. “The fact that this is a leading killer of women, yet so few know, is what made me want to step in and help.”
Healing through music
In 2014, Jewel debuted “Sing On” in support of Lung Force, a national movement led by the American Lung Association. The song is, understandably, emotional for her.
“Inspiration in a time of adversity can go a long way toward finding the courage to keep fighting. This is actually a song I started writing years ago while I was homeless and struggling with undiagnosed and untreated health issues. I nearly died of an untreated kidney infection,” she says. “It was a full circle experience to finish the song so many years later, and to deliver inspiration to others.”
Bringing greater awareness
In the battle against lung cancer, Jewel says she believes knowledge is power. Her mission is clear, and far from over.
“The best thing I can do is continue to fight for fair legislation, raise awareness and help others find a path to health.”
Embarking on her second Handmade Holiday Tour through the end of this year, Jewel has a message for those who may face dark days ahead.
“Women are gritty and strong and courageous beyond measure. I know there is hope for any woman who makes up her mind to fight. Fight on. Sing on. We are here, fighting with you.”
Cindy Riley, [email protected]