Omaha Man Fighting Cancer Works to Abolish Lung Cancer Stigma, Raise Money for Vital Research
(August 21, 2018) -
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Omaha resident Frank Sierawski was only 35-years-old when he was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. As a healthy, active man with three young children, this diagnosis came as a shock. Now, he will participate in the 38th annual Fight For Air Corporate Cup powered by Green Plains, Inc. to fight lung cancer stigma and raise money for much-needed research.
In the winter of 2014, Sierawski developed a cough. Since it was cold and flu season, he assumed that it would go away with time, but when the cough persisted, he went to see a physician. Over the next few months, he underwent a series of tests – an X-ray, bronchoscopy, asthma tests, breathing tests, a CT scan and a PET scan.
“I was diagnosed with Stage 4 adenocarcinoma lung cancer when they found involvement in my lymph nodes, a rib and a vertebrae,” said Sierawski. “It has been a rollercoaster.”
Because of the type of cancer, Sierawski qualified for a new chemotherapy pill treatment. For two years, this pill successfully shrank the tumor on his lung to a size where they were able to surgically remove it. Shortly after, the doctors identified a spot on his brain where the cancer had spread, so he began radiation treatment.
Now, his cancer has been stable for two years, he is working full time and leading a normal life. This September, he will participate in the Omaha Corporate Cup for the first time to help raise awareness about lung cancer and fund lung cancer research.
“I feel like we are in the middle of a shift. There is a lot of focus on smoking cessation and lung cancer prevention, but there needs to be more focus on research,” said Sierawski. “I've benefited greatly from advances in treatment that have come in just the last 5-10 years, and there is a whole other group of people who can benefit from research and targeted therapies. There is a huge opportunity to save a lot of lives through research.”
Additionally, Sierawski hopes to erase the stigma associated with lung cancer.
“Lung cancer has always been smoking oriented. That is how it has been framed,” he added. “But the prevalence of lung cancer in non-smokers is growing.”
The Corporate Cup is a 10K and 2-mile run/walk is the Lung Association’s signature fundraising event and is one of the largest corporate road races in the United States. Each year, the event attracts more than 5,000 participants from all over the region. More information and registration for the Corporate Cup is available at OmahaCorporateCup.org or by calling 402-502-4950.
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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