North Smithfield LUNG FORCE Hero Uses Her Lung Cancer Diagnosis to Educate Others
(June 9, 2015)
Jutta Becker, of North Smithfield had a full time career as an Executive Director for a jewelry company, before her diagnosis of Stage 4 lung cancer put her career on hold. But Becker isn’t letting her disease stop her from staying active and helping others; on Saturday, June 13th Jutta is participating in the American Lung Association’s LUNG FORCE Walk: Rhode Island at Warwick City Park/Buttonwoods Beach to raise awareness and funding to defeat lung cancer.
Becker was diagnosed with lung cancer two years ago; after many visits to the doctor for what was thought to be pneumonia and pain from a broken rib. “Before I went to the doctor, I thought it was just allergies. I didn’t have any of the symptoms of pneumonia and I was going to the gym regularly,” she said. After several visits to the doctor for a cough that wouldn’t subside, Jutta went to the emergency room to receive breathing treatments and antibiotics. “After six days in the hospital I left with my diagnosis,” Jutta said.
Jutta said she is participating in the walk to spread awareness about the importance of screening for lung cancer. “Maybe, if I was given a CT-scan sooner I would have had a lower stage of the cancer and it would have been operable. I want others to know if they are experiencing symptoms they know aren’t right, to go see a doctor and fight for a CT-scan,” Becker said.
“The Lung Association is honored to have Jutta participating in our LUNG FORCE Walk in Rhode Island,” Jeff Seyler President & CEO of the American Lung Association of the Northeast said. “Stories like her’s will help inspire others to understand the startling statistics about lung cancer. Lung cancer is the number one cancer killer of women, but only one percent of women cite lung cancer as women’s cancer that is top-of-mind for them. With Jutta’s help, I am confident we will be able to educate the public that lung cancer must be a top health priority.”
Jutta said education is what has helped her treat her cancer properly. Through her own research, Becker was able to decide what treatment was right for her and has prolonged her life because of it. “Self-education and advocacy was key for me in this experience and I think that translates into the rest of your life,” Becker said.
Those interested can register for the LUNG FORCE Walk on June 13th at Warwick City Park/Buttonwoods Beach. Registration for the LUNG FORCE Walk will begin at 8:00 a.m. To find out more about the walk or to register visit action.lung.org/RI . Other walks have been held in Boston and New York City. The last walk will be held in Burlington, Vermont on June 25. The walk is generously sponsored by Rhode Island Medical Imaging, Amica, 21st Century Oncology, CVS Health, Genentech, iHeartMedia, and WJAR NBC 10.