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Whose Team Am I On?

Lung cancer is the deadliest of all cancers and receives the least amount of government funding for research. It’s up to us, the patients, to raise our own funds. I feel a responsibility to participate in fundraising for lung cancer research since my future depends on it.

Entering the 2019 Team Draft Lung Cancer Survivors Super Bowl Challenge

I want to enter the 2019 Team Draft Lung Cancer Survivors Super Bowl Challenge. If you are not familiar with the challenge, it is a friendly fundraising competition for lung cancer patients and survivors. Participants raise funds for a chance to go to the Super Bowl, Pro Bowl, or the Taste of the NFL. When you enter the Team Draft contest and raise over a set amount, a percentage of your fundraising is donated to your local cancer center or to a lung cancer organization of your choice.

Remembering back to the 2016 contest

I entered the contest in 2016. It was easy for me to decide on a fundraising beneficiary. I chose the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC). This was the very first lung cancer organization, outside of my local cancer center, that I had any contact with after my stage IV lung cancer diagnosis. It just so happened the IASLC’s World Conference on Lung Cancer was in Denver, an hour drive from my house, just weeks after finding out I have lung cancer.

I participated in a kick-off event for the conference and returned the next day to attend a session and look at what seemed like miles of lung cancer poster presentations on clinical studies and treatments. There were possibly thousands of people and hundreds of companies from many countries gathered for a common cause, to fight lung cancer. It was an incredible couple of days. I knew they weren’t all there for just me and my specific type of cancer, but it still gave me this insurmountable amount of hope for my future shortly after being given such a devastating diagnosis.

Choosing a new beneficiary this year

I felt the need to say thank you after seeing the impact the IASLC had on the lung cancer community. I named the IASLC Foundation as the beneficiary of my fundraising efforts. Now, I’m going into my fourth year of living with lung cancer, I’m considering entering the Lung Cancer Survivors Super Bowl Challenge again. I will need to choose a beneficiary. That decision isn’t as easy today.

As a patient willing to fundraise for my own cause, I feel conflicted naming a beneficiary. Do I choose my oncogene group or do I spread the wealth, so to speak, and choose my cancer center that is participating in groundbreaking lung cancer research that is impacting people with lung cancer all over the world? And while I’m weighing the deserving possibilities, there are at least two cancer foundations that I know of currently working on EGFR research that may benefit me and others with my mutation directly.

I’m torn between several organizations and groups. I know having so many options is a good thing. But how do I decide without feeling like I left someone out?

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.