During the past several weeks, I have found myself internally comparing our new Doctor and insurances to the former system. John has recently undergone his 5th round of chemo and a 3rd Bronchoscopy. We received a quick note back from the Doctors office that they were able to get enough tissue sample to send away for molecular testing. This information may open treatment options for John, so we are hopeful as we wait to hear more.
Gracee and I participated in a 5K to raise awareness and research funds for Lung cancer warriors. We participated on my friend, Kris Patrick’s team, Metastatic Love. With over $3,700 in donations, our team raised the largest amount of money. I treasured the time I spent walking with Kris, who is another stage IV lung cancer warrior. She inspires me and had me cracking up during our entire walk together. I love her sense of humor, her strength and her direct and honest nature. In fact, it was Kris who recommended John’s new Doctor and I can’t thank her enough for the referral.
I’m struck by the lack of financial backing, lack of research and public dis-interest in this cancer. The underfunding is observable and saddens me. Yet in the past year alone, I’ve directly known 3 people with new lung cancer diagnoses (Kris, John and very recently a co-worker, Kathleen). All young and otherwise healthy people who, when diagnosed, have late stages because detection is so difficult. John, Kris and Kathleen are my new heros. They occupy a huge space in my heart and prayers. I see, firsthand, the difficult battle and then to battle a social stigma that just isn’t true (ie. lung cancer is a smoker’s problem)… you just watch the advocate in me let loose.
It’s not to late to donate. The event Gracee and I walked for was sponsored by freetobreathe.org. An organization dedicated to doubling the survival rate of Lung Cancer warriors by 2022. Who knows? That small donation you make, might mean the research that helps save thousands of lives. Or that of someone you know and love.