LUNG FORCE
 
  • Share this page:

LUNG FORCE Heroes

Angela O.

Before May 2014, I had never been affected by lung cancer. I didn't know anyone who had been diagnosed with it and I certainly didn't know anyone who had died from it. All of that has changed in such a profound and dramatic way. My life was blessed with incredible people and one of the most amazing was my best friend, Dana.

Dana and I met when we were a few days into our freshman year at Hofstra University. Dana and I shared all of life's milestones from 1989 on, including our first jobs after college, our engagements, weddings, baby showers and babies, and every life event that comes to close friends. She was my daughter's Godmother and my go-to person whenever life threw anything my way.

In the spring of 2014, Dana was exploring with doctors why she wasn't feeling well. On May 23, 2014, she got her answer. Dana was diagnosed with lung cancer. She met the diagnosis with unimaginable strength. She began treatment and remained positive all throughout the summer.

While she was sick, I often shared my thoughts and concerns with a woman who was my confidant, mentor, second-mother, and friend. Camille and I had worked together and shared a unique and most special friendship. We were very, very close. She was everything I hoped to be when I "grew up". On October 2015, Camille, who had never mentioned not feeling well to me, was diagnosed with metastasized lung cancer. I was numb. How could this be happening? Camille attempted treatment at first, but then decided it would be best to live life at home as peacefully as possible. Camille lived for exactly four months after diagnosis. She died on February 17, 2015 just three weeks shy of her 72nd birthday. Her funeral was on a Monday.

I returned to work on Tuesday and at work got word that Dana, whose health was deteriorating rapidly now, had gone to Sloane Kettering for a procedure that would enable her to attend a trial at Yale University. She crashed during the procedure and was told she was not going to be going home. She remained in ICU for eight days, saying goodbye to everyone who came to visit her by writing notes. Her sense of humor and wit remained in tact. Her four young daughters watched what it looked like to die with unimaginable grace. On March 4, and just fifteen days after Camille passed, my beautiful warrior friend was gone.

I never in a million years imagined life without them. They were my compass, my confidants and my true friends. I will miss them forever.

LUNG FORCE has not only given me a chance to grieve them in a productive way, it has created a community in which others like me can honor and remember such wonderful woman. It's a vehicle for channeling grief while helping others who will face this dreadful disease. I'm so proud of the work Team Doin it for Dana and Team Walking For Camille have done. We are making a difference in their names and letting the world know that these phenomenal women were here!

  Share this story:
 
Tell your story View all stories Donate

American Lung Association is solely responsible for content.

Hero stories are the point of view of the Hero and not necessarily the American Lung Association. The Lung Association does not endorse any specific provider, facility or treatment.

Support for Share Your Voice provided by Cancer Treatment Centers of America®

About LUNG FORCE

Donate to LUNG FORCE

Get Involved

LUNG FORCE Heroes

Events Near Me

Lung Health Barometer

Media

Sponsors & Supporters

Shop LUNG FORCE

Sign up for updates

Get the latest news and information on the fight against lung cancer and for lung health.

Ask An Expert

Questions about your lung health? Need help finding healthcare? Call 1-800-LUNGUSA.

Get help
We need your generous support

Make a difference by delivering research, education and advocacy to those impacted by lung disease.

What is LUNG FORCE?

LUNG FORCE unites women and their loved ones across the country to stand together in the fight against lung cancer.

Get involved
Join the fight for healthy lungs and healthy air.
Donate Now.