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The one hundred honoree: Senator Susan C. Fargo

Donor Story

The one hundred honoree: Senator Susan C. Fargo

Mass General Giving

As Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on Public Health, State Senator Susan C. Fargo (D-3rd Middlesex) penned crucial legislation establishing the Commonwealth Lung Cancer Early Detection and Treatment Research Fund. The first of its kind nationally, the bill directs a portion of the cigarette excise tax to a trust fund that supports research to advance early detection and treatment of lung cancer.

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in Massachusetts and nationwide. Annually, lives lost to lung cancer exceed the combined death toll of breast, prostate and colon cancers. In 2008, almost 5,000 Massachusetts citizens were diagnosed with lung cancer and 3,600 succumbed to the disease. More than 70 percent of its victims are diagnosed at a late stage, a primary factor in the abysmal survival rate.

Senator Fargo is a tireless advocate for policies and funds that promote public health. Under her leadership, the statewide smoking ban was passed in 2004, greatly reducing the hazard of second-hand smoke in public places.