Agawam Mother Motivated to Climb for Her Kids and Lung Cancer Research
(October 15, 2014)
Joanne Gloster, a mother of two, is using her experience with her father’s smoking addiction to provide a healthier, smokefree environment for her children. After losing her father, Raymond Lucien Boucher, to lung cancer, Gloster, of Agawam, Massachusetts, was more determined than ever to give her children a smokefree household; a change from her childhood.
Gloster lost her father when he was 49 years old. “I can remember being a child and getting ear infections and my dad would blow smoke in my ears because he thought that would help; smoking was very much a part of life then,” Gloster said.
Gloster will participate in the Fight for Air Climb in Springfield on November 8 at Monarch Place to help the American Lung Association of the Northeast raise the funds necessary to provide lifesaving education, research and advocacy so we can beat lung disease and soon find a cure.
Despite trying to quit when he was diagnosed with lung cancer, Gloster said her father struggled to quit smoking until the end of his life. “He held on until I gave birth to my daughter, which was his first granddaughter. He wanted to see if she had dimples,” Gloster said.
Gloster heard about the Fight for Air Climb last year through her job at Health New England. She will climb the 48 flights of stairs with her colleagues to support the American Lung Association’s mission to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease. “My dad felt that the American Lung Association made a huge difference for him in his treatment in his final year of life,” she said.
Gloster also has asthma and suffers from migraines that are triggered by the smell of secondhand smoke. Her son, C.J. Gloster, has struggled with his breathing starting as an infant. “I remember having to take him to the emergency room sometimes because he was having trouble breathing. That’s something as a mother you’ll never forget,” Gloster said.
By participating in the climb, Gloster also hopes to help end the misconception that lung cancer only affects people who smoke. “ Lung cancer can happen to you whether you are a smoker or a nonsmoker. If we’re impacted by someone that smoked or lived in a home with someone who was a heavy smoker that can increase our risk of getting lung cancer. I support the American Lung Association’s work to rid this disease of the stigma that’s associated with it. The bottom line is that no one deserves lung cancer,” Gloster said.
The Springfield climb will kick off with registration at 8 a.m. The first climber will start at 9 a.m. The after party and awards ceremony will be located in the Sheraton Hotel; which is located inside Monarch Place.