Hope Summit: LUNGevity’s International Lung Cancer Survivorship Conference
Prior to my diagnosis of lung cancer, I really didn't travel much. Maybe two hours to Columbus, Ohio, but that was the furthest I went. Since my diagnosis, I travel to Washington, D.C. every year, the last weekend in April. Why you ask? For Lungevity's yearly Hope Summit. It is my highlight of the year for several reasons.
A place where you're understood
Since my diagnosis, I truly feel it is the only place where I feel I belong. Imagine how it feels to walk into a room with almost 400 people and you know every one of them can relate to how you feel on a daily basis. They know what treatments do to us and how it feels afterward. They know how we feel leading up to our next scan. They know how we worry about our family. They know how we feel on a good day and more importantly, they know how we feel on our bad days -- the days when we wonder if we can continue trying to fight this beast.
The statistics are overwhelming
Lungevity is not just for their Hope Summit. The website is filled with tons of information. Patient stories, research advocacy opportunities and updates, one-to-one peer support and so much more. According to Lungevity's website:1
- One in 16 people in the US will be diagnosed with lung cancer in their lifetime
- More than 234,000 people in the US will be diagnosed with lung cancer this year, with a new diagnosis every 2.2 minutes
- 60% to 65% of all new lung cancer diagnoses are among people who have never smoked or are former smokers
- 10% to 15% of new lung cancer cases are among never-smokers
These statistics are overwhelming. How can we feel calm and joy with our loved ones knowing this information? That is where Lungevity comes in. The facts, plain and simple, are listed on their website but most important is that there are various levels of support for newly diagnosed patients. If you are a newly diagnosed patient, I strongly recommend you visit their website.
Will you be attending Hope Summit?
First timers can get a grant which covers your airfare and hotel for two days. It doesn't get any better than that. And during those two days you receive a wealth of information. Speakers from all over the country speaking about various topics. They even offer one day for a Cope Summit which is only for caregivers (you can take one person with you). My daughter goes with me each year and learns something new each year as well. I may have had cancer for five years but research changes the face of lung cancer so quickly that I look forward to learning more and more each year.
Take a moment to visit Lungevity's website and learn more about their Hope Summit. I guarantee you won't regret it and you will feel so much better -- their support is top notch.
Editor’s Note: We are extremely saddened to say that on January 28, 2020, Jennifer Toth passed away. Jennifer was a passionate advocate for the Lung Cancer community. She will be deeply missed.
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