Lung Cancer Advocacy

When I was diagnosed with lung cancer, I promised myself that I would become an advocate. Being diagnosed with lung cancer really turned my life and my family’s life upside.

I want to make a difference in whichever way I can.

My first Hope Summit

The first thing I did was I Googled lung cancer organizations or groups and came across LUNGevity Organization. I saw that every year they did a Hope Summit, so I emailed them for more information. I was happy to know that they offered a one-time grant that was paid for me to attend as a first-timer. I applied for it and off I went to DC to attend my first summit about lung cancer.

All I can say is that I’m so happy I went because I learned so much and met wonderful lung cancer survivors. They instantly became my family, and the support and love are beyond words. Seeing so many that have lived 5+ years with lung cancer gave me the hope I needed.

I knew I had to make a difference

While being there and listening to the panelist and other survivors’ stories I knew I needed to bring more awareness about lung cancer, help somehow to stop the stigma, be the voice for many, make a difference and a change the way lung cancer research is looked at.

So, for the past 7 years, I’ve been doing just that.

I was on Dr. Phil and shared my story, I participated for 3 years now as a consumer reviewer for the DOD LCRP. I was awarded a travel grant from IASLC and attended the World Conference of Lung Cancer in Toronto Canada; I did a Biomarker PSA campaign (Inhale for Life) for LUNGevity Organization. I’m a member of the Speakers Bureau for LCFA and participated in the Lung Cancer Advocacy Summit in DC with GO2 Foundation.

My story appeared in Bonnie J. Addario’s book The Living Room. A Lung Cancer Community of Courage, Patient Resource – Cancer Guide 14th Edition/Winter 20-21, Cancer Grace – Patient Interview and Cure Magazine.

It's about building a brighter future for my family

I’ve done a lot more than I actually have a lung cancer resume, but I’m very blessed that in these past 7 years I’ve done so much and done whatever I could to make a difference. It hasn’t been easy, but I refuse to sink. I want my granddaughter to say, “My grandmother helped with that; my grandmother made a difference.” I want her to remember me as the grandmother that gave it her all. That I didn’t go down without a fight and I conquered every battle, never giving up!

I will continue my advocacy work somehow, someway. It’s hard now because of this pandemic and now it’s required to show proof of vaccination. I’m not vaccinated, and I don’t plan to (my choice) and now I can’t attend summits or conferences. But I will find a way to continue my advocacy work and will continue to help make that change that the lung cancer community needs.

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