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Attending SU2C with My Lung Cancer Sisters and Brothers

I recently made a trip to Santa Monica, California for the live telecast of Stand Up to Cancer (SU2C). Along with my fellow lung cancer sisters and brothers, I was part of the largest contingent of cancer survivors in attendance! I’m not sure of the exact numbers, but I would estimate that there were at least 30 of us with lung cancer in the audience, maybe more.

Getting my invitation to SU2C

How did we end up being invited to SU2C? It’s actually an interesting story that started when Sung Poblete, the President and CEO of SU2C, spoke at last April’s LUNGevity National Hope Summit in Washington, DC about the work SU2C has been doing in lung cancer. There are two lung cancer “Dream Team” task forces — one team is in collaboration with LUNGevity and focuses on intercepting lung cancer and the other team is working on targeting KRAS mutant lung cancers.

After her talk, Sung offered all the lung cancer survivors in the audience (and there were hundreds!) tickets to the live telecast in Santa Monica. All we needed to do was put our names down on a list. This was important because you can’t just buy tickets to SU2C; you have to be invited. While we were given free tickets, we were also told that arranging transportation and lodging would be our own responsibilities if we chose to go.

A once-in-a-lifetime trip

I ended up deciding to attend along with 7 of my lung cancer sisters who have become my close friends. We bought ourselves SU2C T-shirts online to wear to the telecast, shared a couple of rooms at a Hampton Inn (hotels are expensive in Santa Monica!) and used airline miles or found the least expensive flights we could. We made the trip happen despite expenses because we recognized what a unique, once-in-a-lifetime adventure attending SU2C would be.

Attending SU2C with My Lung Cancer Sisters and Brothers

The actual experience exceeded our expectations! Starting with a pre-party with photographers and ending with a reception filled with gourmet food trucks and celebrities such as Katie Couric and Stevie Wonder, we had a fantastic time and showed everyone that lung cancer survivors can have fun too! It was truly an opportunity to bring awareness to the many faces of lung cancer.

The actual telecast took place in an event space called the Barker Hangar on the grounds of the Santa Monica airport. The lung cancer survivors in attendance were given assigned seats and divided into a few areas in the audience — some were closer to the stage and others were further back — but all of us were with others from the lung cancer community so no one sat alone. I even met a number of people in my row in person for the first time whom I only knew from Facebook previously.

Making our presence known

I have heard some comments from those in the lung cancer community who were concerned that lung cancer wasn’t featured in this SU2C telecast. However, lung cancer survivors have been on stage in the past and will be in the future. I know the Dream Teams are hard at work and as soon as they have results that impact patients, we can expect those lung cancer patients to factor prominently in a future telecast. In the meantime, we lung cancer survivors in attendance certainly made our presence known (we closed down the reception!) and I believe we were the only large group of survivors invited to attend.

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

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