About Us

Leading the way in the lung cancer community

What started as a grassroots movement of survivors, providers, and advocates in North Carolina in 2006 has grown to become a leading organization that connects lung cancer patients and their loved ones with the medical and research community. Our network of hope and action fuels lung cancer research, furthers education and awareness about lung cancer, and supports access to appropriate care, treatment, and resources for the lung cancer community.

Our Mission

To advance survivorship and provide support to those affected by lung cancer through research, education and access programs.

Our Vision

To improve life for those affected by lung cancer.

Our Values

Passionate Support of Survivorship
Building Community
Responsible Stewardship

Lung Cancer Initiative History

Lung Cancer Initiative (LCI) got its start as North Carolinians Against Lung Cancer in 2006. It was formed by a group of volunteer advocates with a focus on funding research and raising awareness about lung cancer. In 2008, the organization joined forces with Free to Breathe, gaining 501(c)(3) status and was renamed North Carolina Lung Cancer Partnership. As LCI’s reach expanded throughout North Carolina and beyond over the next several years, the decision was made to establish independent 501(c)(3) status in 2013 and rebrand as Lung Cancer Initiative. The following timeline outlines the highlights of LCI’s history.

2006     North Carolinians Against Lung Cancer

    • Advocates met and formed a small grassroots volunteer organization called North Carolinians Against Lung Cancer with a focus on funding research and raising awareness about lung cancer.


    • Held first Raleigh 5K, benefiting National Lung Cancer Partnership (now Free to Breathe) with 850 registered participants raising more than $88,000.

 2008    Free to Breathe State Chapter: North Carolina Lung Cancer Partnership

    • Became the first state chapter of Free to Breathe, gaining 501(c)(3) status under a group exemption, and becoming North Carolina Lung Cancer Partnership.
    • Established Board of Directors.
    • Held first Greensboro 5K event.
    • Held first Evening of Hope Gala, Raleigh.
    • Funded first $100,000 Young Investigators Grant.


    • Hired first employee and opened office.


    • Hired second employee.


    • Held first Charlotte 5K.
    • Held first NC Lung Cancer Advocacy Summit.

 2013      Lung Cancer Initiative

    • Disaffiliated from Free to Breathe and gained independent 501(c)(3) status, rebranding as Lung Cancer Initiative.
    • Funded $500,000 toward lung cancer research cumulatively.
    • Launched the Access to Care gas card program.
    • Held first Expert Speakers Series.


    • Established Research Fellows Program for funding fellows at teaching hospitals throughout the state.


    • Funded more than $1 million in lung cancer research in NC, cumulatively.
    • Began research partnership with The V Foundation for Cancer Research.
    • Launched the Access Grant Program (now called REACH Grant Program) offering grants to local community hospitals to help them improve patient access to care.


    • Launch of the Vicky Amidon Innovation in Lung Cancer Research Grant.


    • Employed 6 full-time staff members.
    • New office location at 5171 Glenwood Avenue, Suite 401, Raleigh, NC 27612.
    • Launched the Patient Emergency Fund.


    • Formed LCI Development, Marketing, and Survivor Steering Committees.


    • Employed 7 full-time staff members.
    • Funded more than $3 million to date in lung cancer research.
    • Launched the Peer Mentor Program

Awards and Recognition

Lung Cancer Initiative has earned a 2023 Platinum Seal of Transparency, the highest level of recognition offered by GuideStar, the world’s largest source of nonprofit information. By sharing metrics that highlight progress Lung Cancer Initiative is making toward its mission, the organization is helping donors move beyond simplistic ways of nonprofit evaluation such as overhead ratios.

To reach the Platinum level, Lung Cancer Initiative added extensive information to its GuideStar Nonprofit Profile: basic contact and organizational information; in-depth financial information; qualitative information about goals, strategies, and capabilities; and quantitative information about results and progress toward its mission. By taking the time to provide this information, Lung Cancer Initiative has demonstrated its commitment to transparency and to giving donors and funders meaningful data to evaluate nonprofit performance.