When I was handed the diagnosis of lung cancer I was 49 years old and had never smoked. As a teenager I had lost my mom, also a non-smoker to this same disease just before her 53rd birthday. All, making this diagnosis that much more surreal.
My sojourn began in May 2009 with a small nagging cough. After a few weeks my husband encouraged me to go to the doctor. Initially it presented itself as pneumonia. With no improvement noted after a course of antibiotics, further tests revealed it was cancer. I had 2 surgeries in 4 months with many more tests and appointments following. I was accepted into a 2 year clinical chemo drug trial and am happy to share that the drug has since been approved by the FDA to help fight Lung Cancer.
I am thrilled to say that I’m Cancer Free! I have to be mindful of the possibility of recurrence but I am being carefully monitored. During my experience I have seen firsthand how we fall short in providing adequate lung cancer education and equitable funding for lung cancer research. People may think that Lung Cancer sufferers have brought this on themselves with poor life style choices but many of us have never smoked or purposely exposed ourselves to risk. Lung Cancer remains the number one cancer killer and sadly receives far less financial support from the varied donor sources. In response to those realities my family and I established the Take a Breath for Life Foundation with our goals being to bolster awareness and increase funding for Lung Cancer education and research through our annual fund raising event.
We have again paired our event with a Cyclo-cross race hosted by the East Aurora Racing Club. I have been working with Dan Kowalik and several of the guys from the team. It is so heartwarming working with these guys who are so willing to share their time and talents for us to meet our goals. What a wonderful group of individuals!
Our fundraiser will be held on November 16th from 11:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. in the Old Casino on the grounds of the Erie County Fair in Hamburg.
We will offer a cyclo-cross race that will be held on the race track, Registration info- https://www.bikereg.com/Net/21370 There will also be entertainment, theme baskets, raffles, a kids Korner and food being available. Please join us! Bring your family and friends. And a big thank you to the EA Racing Club.