Turquoise takeover awareness event at Schreiber for lung cancer

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Paul D. Schreiber High School was transformed into a sea of turquoise.

Students and teachers last week donned the color as part of the American Lung Association’s Turquoise Takeover awareness campaign.

The event, a health awareness campaign that runs from Friday to Tuesday, is part of Lung Force, the American Lung Association’s effort to raise awareness about lung health and lung cancer.

Students listened to a cancer survivor’s story during the day and talks from professionals from the lung association and representatives from NYU Winthrop Hospital’s oncology department, as well as Michelle Lewis Salzman, director of the Phoebe Lynn Lewis Foundation.

The New York-based foundation focuses on urging people at risk for lung cancer to get screened.

Students were encouraged to reach out to loved ones who do or have smoked to prompt them to get screened, a news release said.

Schreiber High School’s Key Club, an organization that volunteers and raises funds for different causes, and another club, Students Against Destructive Decisions, helped organize the event.

“It was extremely gratifying to help plan this day with the Key Club, SADD and the health teachers in memory of my grandmother, who lost her fight against lung cancer,” Schreiber freshman Adam Salzman said, referring to Phoebe Lynn Lewis. “The day helped educate teenagers about the harmful effects of smoking and vaping, and raised awareness about lung cancer screening – a low dose CT scan that can save one’s life – that very few patients or doctors know about.”

According to the American Lung Association, at least 8.6 million Americans qualify as high risk for lung cancer and are recommended to receive annual low-dose CT scans.

Students in the Key Club and Students Against Destructive Decisions shared information with other students on the American Lung Association’s Lung Force walk on May 20 in New York, school officials said.

The school also held an essay contest to encourage participants to examine the rise in vaping and smoking alternatives among teenagers.

“This is valuable information for our students to process and share with one another and family members,” Superintendent of Schools Kathleen Mooney said. “It can save their lives and the lives of those close to them. Hearing testimony from the experts, and people who have had their lives impacted by cancer, can go a long way in getting the message across.”

About 222,500 new cases of lung cancer are estimated for 2017, according to the American Cancer Society.

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