Double Cancer Survivor on Mission to Find a Cure
(May 8, 2018) -
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Indiana resident Lydia Johnson was devastated when she was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2016, but unfortunately, it wasn’t the first time she received a cancer diagnosis. Now, she is on a mission to fund research for earlier detection and better treatments. Because of this work, Johnson was nominated for the first-ever LUNG FORCE Impact Award by the American Lung Association in Indiana.
When Johnson coughed up blood the first time, she thought it was a fluke. After it happened again and then again, she went to the doctor. After her chest X-ray was normal, she visited a pulmonologist who ran additional tests.
“When the call came with the results, I was shocked and devastated. Stage III adenocarcinoma of the lung, the most common form of lung cancer,” she said. “I had never smoked, aside from the occasional cigarette in my early 20s while out with friends. And there were no symptoms, other than the coughing blood and feeling tired at times.”
She later learned that many times there are few symptoms associated with lung cancer, which is why is it often found at later stages in the disease. She also learned that lung cancer can strike anyone. For Johnson, her doctor said that the lung cancer may have been caused by radiation she had received for Hodgkin’s Lymphoma when she was 17 and again at 22. For her lung cancer, she had surgery to remove a portion of her lung and four rounds of chemotherapy.
“I have a teenage daughter who is beginning her search for colleges, and I enjoy watching my son grow in his career. There are too many places in the world that my husband and I want to visit. I have church functions I want to participate in. I have hobbies. I have projects left undone. In short, I’m just an average person. And that’s important to note. Lung cancer can strike anyone,” she said. “If we fund research today, we will have earlier detection and better treatments tomorrow.”
Johnson is one of three people who were nominated for the first-ever LUNG FORCE Impact Award, which will be presented on May 11 at the LUNG FORCE Glam Luncheon. The luncheon also includes a red carpet entrance, a fashion show and inspiring speeches. Learn more about the LUNG FORCE Glam and Impact Award here.
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.