Georgia Governor Signs Law Creating the First Lung Cancer Awareness License Plate in the United States

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Proceeds to benefit the Joan Gaeta Lung Cancer Fund and their efforts to support research.

Joe Gaeta, President and CEO of The Joan Gaeta Lung Cancer Fund (2nd from Right), looks on as Governor Nathan Deal signs HB 732 into law.

Lung cancer kills more people than the next five cancers combined! Yet, it receives the least amount of funding per death.

At 2:00pm on Monday, April 16th, 2012, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal signed HB 732 into law. The law, which passed the Georgia Legislature on March 26th, creates a Lung Cancer Awareness specialty license plate, among others. The plates will be available to Georgia drivers this summer at their local tag office or online from the Georgia DMV. In the meantime, drivers can pre-order their plates online at This is the first specialty plate of its kind in the United States.

The bill was backed by The Joan Gaeta Lung Cancer Fund, a non-profit based in Atlanta that raises awareness and research funds for the number one cancer killer in the world.

"My mother, Joan Gaeta, died of lung cancer after a three-and-a-half year battle," says Tina Pink, a VP of Fundraising for the Gaeta organization. "She was most passionate about raising awareness and fighting the stigma of the disease. This new plate is a huge step in that direction. I know she would be very proud of this!"

Mrs. Pink's sister, Theresa Andretta, VP of Operations, concurs. "Lung cancer kills more people than the next five cancers combined! Yet, it receives the least amount of funding per death. We have no choice but to raise awareness and fight the stigma. That's what our mother would have wanted. This is a great day!"

The process to create specialty license plates in Georgia typically takes nearly two years, as the state requires either 1,000 plates to be presold or an up-front payment to be made of the fees for 1,000 plates. Through The Joan Gaeta Lung Cancer Fund's tireless fundraising efforts and the generosity of their supporters, the Gaeta fund was able to make the up-front payment required to the get the bill before the legislature.

Proceeds from the plate fees will go to The Joan Gaeta Lung Cancer Fund and help them in their effort to support ground-breaking research through the Addario Lung Cancer Medical Institute.

The Joan Gaeta Lung Cancer Fund was created in the fall of 2007 as The Joan Gaeta Lung Cancer Foundation by her husband and children to raise awareness of the disease, to educate the public, and to be an advocate for research. They also strive to eliminate the stigma of lung cancer and to support survivors and their loved ones in their local community.

In July of 2010, they re-launched as The Joan Gaeta Lung Cancer Fund benefiting the Addario Lung Cancer Medical Institute. Their ultimate goal remains the same: “to eradicate lung cancer.” By partnering with one significant research initiative, they can make a much greater impact in wiping out lung cancer.

ALCMI was established in 2008 as a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization with the ultimate goal of significantly impacting survival by directly catalyzing and accelerating discovery of new and more effective treatment options for all lung cancer patients. Presently, ALCMI has 13 academic and community medical centers in the United States and Europe closely collaborating on cutting edge research initiatives.


  • Even if you have never smoked, you can get lung cancer.
  • 60% of new cases are now diagnosed in non-smokers and former smokers.
  • Lung cancer is the #1 cancer killer of both men and women.
  • Every three minutes, someone is diagnosed with the disease.
  • It kills more people each year than breast cancer, prostate cancer, colon cancer, liver cancer, melanoma, and kidney cancer combined.
  • It surpassed breast cancer of the #1 killer of women in 1987.
  • The five year survival rate for lung cancer is still only 15% - the same as it was nearly 40 years ago.

-Learn more at

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