Some of you might know that my Mother in law Tina has been winning her fight against lung cancer. She was originally diagnosed in 2010, and was fortunate enough to obtain quality health care and participation in a trial for a drug called Tarceva, which she has responded to favorably. Every year her family joins together to raise money for an organization very dear to her heart, the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation. This organization has served as a light for Tina in a time of darkness. I didn’t know her or my husband Ryan at the time of diagnosis, but the scary and emotional feelings she and the whole family experienced have been shared with me over the years. Fortunately, every memory I have with Tina has been positive, and revolves around gratitude for her health and ability to continue living a quality life. These successes are the stories that give others living with disease or those newly diagnosed the HOPE they need for survival.
“The Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation (ALCF) is one of the largest philanthropies (patient-founded, patient-focused, and patient-driven) devoted exclusively to eradicating Lung Cancer through research, early detection, education, and treatment. The Foundation’s goal is to work with a diverse group of physicians, organizations, industry partners, individuals, patients, survivors, and their families to identify solutions and make timely and meaningful change and turn lung cancer into a chronically managed disease by 2023. The ALCF was established on March 1, 2006 as a 501c(3) non-profit organization and has raised over $30 million for lung cancer research and related programs.”
Cancer is also scary and sad. I’ve watched my grandmother deteriorate over the years since her initial diagnosis of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 1997. Lucky for her, routine scans since her initial diagnosis discovered her lung cancer and multiple myeloma. I watched my grandfather suffer and die quickly from colon cancer that metastasized to his liver, lungs, and brain. I held a bucket up to his mouth and rubbed his back as he struggled to breathe, coughing up so much fluid. I sat with him in the hospital as he threw up the food he tried to eat, telling me I shouldn’t see him this way, but I didn’t budge and I helped clean him up when he was done. I left the hospital that day, the last time we spoke before he slipped into a coma - he took all the strength he had left to grab my hand and whispered to me, “Do well.” The next time I saw him was when hospice sent him home, and he was in a coma and a diaper. He had stubble on his face. He died the next day.
My family has lost 5 members to cancer. I’ve watched many friends lose their parents to this disease way too young. It’s an awful thing to watch the ones you love suffer - it’s very traumatic and something I feel I haven’t fully recovered from.
I’m sharing all of this with you so you can understand why this cause is so important. There’s wins and losses and I am glad to finally witness a win with my mother in law Tina, and with my amazing grandmother Leona. I feel so lucky to still have her, especially since she’s been living with disease for 20 years.
If you feel this organization and cause is important to you, I hope you can donate, even if it is just $5. I look forward to the day when all the fundraising we have done over the years helps to finally find that cure! Until then, we have to keep giving love and support to those impacted by this disease, and continue to fight for those we have lost.
Thank you for your support all these years!