Lung Cancer Leaves Lakeview Man Unable to Walk; One Year Later, He Walks Three Miles for Research Funding
(August 8, 2018) -
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This Sunday, August 12, Chicago resident Paul Shoun will do something that he wasn’t able to do this time last year – walk. With this renewed ability that many take for granted, he will raise awareness and money for lung cancer research at the American Lung Association’s LUNG FORCE Walk presented by Northwestern Medicine.
Early last summer, Shoun began having issues walking. Doctors thought it was inflammation and prescribed medication, but the problems returned once the medication wore off. After several doctor visits, his condition got so bad that he was unable to stand. He went to the emergency room, where an MRI and CT scan revealed masses in his left lung and brain. He was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer that metastasized to the brain.
“[Before the diagnosis] I was a very healthy, active man,” said Shoun. “The diagnosis was shocking.”
Just three days later, Shoun had brain surgery at Northwestern Memorial Hospital to remove the tumor. Following the surgery, he could not move his right leg or walk. He underwent rehabilitation at the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab to relearn to walk and began chemotherapy and immunotherapy to fight the cancer.
Four months after brain surgery and extensive physical therapy, Shoun returned to work full time, has traveled overseas and is back to his active lifestyle. He is still undergoing chemotherapy and immunotherapy, but does not let that slow him down.
“I am technically in maintenance mode, but it is working. I am alive, I am functioning, I am living a full life,” he said. “I am not going to crawl into a corner and feel sorry for myself.”
Last year, while he was recovering from surgery and starting treatment, his friends and colleagues at Northwestern Medicine started a LUNG FORCE Walk team in his honor. This year, now back on his feet, Shoun will walk with his friends and colleagues to raise awareness of lung cancer and funds for lung cancer research.
“The American Lung Association is facilitating and funding research, and it is really important for people to fund this vital research,” Shoun said. “I want this [lung cancer] to be changed in my lifetime.”
The LUNG FORCE Walk is on Sunday, August 12 at 10 a.m. The event kicks off at the Stadium Green at Soldier Field, and includes a three-mile walk along Lake Michigan, as well as a one-mile option for those with lung disease. It is free to register and participate, but fundraising is encouraged. More information and registration is available at LUNGFORCEWalkChicago.org.
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 coveted 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and a Gold-Level GuideStar Member, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org.
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