Sheila Waltman & Thomas Williamson

Team Sullivan

My Lung Champions are my mother, Sheila Waltman, and her brother (my uncle), Thomas Williamson. My mother Sheila died at 71 years old in February 2009 after a 1 ½ year battle with Lung Cancer. Yes, Sheila was a smoker. I hope to convince many people to quit smoking, by sharing Sheila and Thomas’ story. Sheila was a lifelong smoker and though she tried many times to quit, it wasn’t to be. Her friends and neighbors often describe Sheila as athletic, full of life and always smiling. Even after being diagnosed, Sheila was often found on the golf course, tennis court or with her bridge buddies. As her health continued to decline, my sister, Jennifer Donovan (a nurse), and I took care of Sheila at home. It was a big responsibility, especially dealing with the side effects of her treatments with chemo and radiation. It’s been over a year since my Mom died. If I could go back in time, I’d reach out to the American Lung Association for assistance: www.lung.org

Thomas Williamson is Sheila’s older brother by 11 months. He was diagnosed with inoperable stage 4 lung cancer this year. Although he had given up smoking, he smoked most of his life. Thomas grew up with Sheila in Milford, CT. He is currently a retired attorney in the heart of hilly San Francisco. Walking is a way of life for Thomas and he realizes his lung disease will make it impossible to do his favorite day-to-day activities. Although Thomas knows he will not be here next year, he is determined to be positive and live life to the best of his ability. He had a good role model with Sheila.