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Debbie S., TX

I was born in 1948 in St Louis, Missouri. I was the fourth child out of 11, nine girls and two boys. Both our parents smoked so all of us we exposed to secondhand smoke from infancy. We also all grew up to become smokers.

In 1992 my father died from lung cancer. He was 70 years old and had started smoking at age 9. His grandparents had a farm and grew tobacco. In 2006 our mother died from a heart attack at age 83. In 2008 our sister Stephanie died from lung cancer. She found out she had lung cancer three weeks after she quit smoking.

I had quit smoking in 2007. By this time several siblings had already quit smoking. I felt safe because I had quit. I smoked for 43 years, and I was 59 years old.

In 2019 our sister Denise died of lung cancer. In 2021 our oldest sister Barbara died of cancer, but it was not in her lungs. She had quit smoking right after our father died. In 2022 our sister Julie died of lung cancer. She had quit smoking 12 years before.

At one time I thought I would never be able to quit. I loved it that much. By the time I decided to really try to quit I was wheezing all the time and had a terrible cigarette cough. Within a week of quitting, I stopped wheezing and coughing. As time went on it got easier and easier.

Now I can't stand the smell of cigarettes. I would not be surprised to find out I have lung cancer given my history but at least with the CT scans I get each year I will hopefully catch sit early. After all this my family has been through, I have three siblings that are still smoking.

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