Colorado Woman Fights to Eliminate Lung Cancer Stigma
(May 23, 2018) -
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Coloradoan Samantha Taglienti was shocked to hear of her father’s stage 4 lung cancer diagnosis because he had no family history of the disease and had never smoked. To help raise awareness for lung cancer and eliminate the stigma, Taglienti will participate in the LUNG FORCE Walk on June 2.
In 2014, Orlando Taglienti was diagnosed with stage 4 non-small cell lung cancer at the age of 63. At his diagnosis, he did not have any symptoms of the disease besides being low energy and generally not feeling like himself.
“My father was shocked and also very emotional at the time of diagnosis. He was terribly confused by such a diagnosis as he had been a healthy, non-smoker his entire life,” said Taglienti. “To receive this news was devastating to my father.”
Unfortunately, due to the late stage at diagnosis, Taglienti’s father passed away just months later. In search of a way to make a change, Taglienti signed up for her first LUNG FORCE Walk in San Antonio, Tex. in 2015. Once she moved to Denver, she became involved with the local event. Over the years, Taglienti has raised an estimated $4,000 through the Walk for the American Lung Association in Colorado.
“After seeing firsthand the lack of research and funding for this disease, I wanted to try to make a difference for the future patients and families of patients so that they may actually have the chance my father didn't,” she said. “It is time for the stigma of lung disease to be erased so that it may receive the funding and research it deserves. Lung cancer patients deserve the same fighting chance as any other cancer out there. Lung cancer ripped my life apart and changed me forever. I hope for a future where another person will never have to experience what I have.”
The annual LUNG FORCE Walk is on Saturday, June 2 at the Denver Botanic Gardens-Chatfield Farms in Littleton. More information about the walk and registration is available at LUNGFORCE.org/Walk.
About the American Lung Association
The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease, through research, education and advocacy. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to improve the air we breathe; to reduce the burden of lung disease on individuals and their families; and to eliminate tobacco use and tobacco-related diseases. For more information about the American Lung Association, a holder of the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Guide Seal, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org.