Omaha Woman Was Given a Year to Live; 9 Years Later, She Will Kick Off the Fight For Air Corporate Cup
(August 28, 2019) - OMAHA, Neb.
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In 2010, two doctors told Candi Troia that she had less than one year to live when she was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. On September 8, nine years after her diagnosis and just three months after receiving brain surgery to remove another tumor, she will kick off the Fight For Air Corporate Cup powered by Green Plains in Omaha.
In 2010, she woke up gasping for breath. She headed to the emergency room, where they found a spot on her lung. Since she had no risk factors for lung cancer, doctors assumed that it was pneumonia, bronchitis or a fungus. When Troia was finally diagnosed with lung cancer six months later, she said that the PET scan “lit up like a Christmas Tree.” Although she was just diagnosed with the disease, the cancer had already spread throughout much of her body. Two doctors gave her less than one year to live “if she was lucky.”
“It hit me like a ton of bricks. How did I get lung cancer? Even my doctor didn’t understand,” said Troia. “A year didn’t work for me. I couldn’t accept it because I had kids and grandkids that needed me. I needed more time than that.”
Troia researched doctors all over the U.S. After being on the incorrect chemotherapy and radiation, she was put on a newly-approved medication, which helped shrink the tumors over the years.
“We need more awareness, we need more research and more funding,” she said. “Lung cancer is the number one cancer killer of both men and women in the country.”
Troia’s lung cancer journey has continued, but she doesn’t let it slow her down. On June 14 this year, she received brain surgery to remove a tumor that was connected to her lung cancer. Two days later, she walked out of the hospital and was back at work that evening. She works two jobs to afford her life-saving medication and watches her grandchildren. On September 28, she will celebrate nine years since she was first diagnosed with lung cancer. This is a huge milestone, because only five percent of people diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer live longer than five years.
“It’s absolutely amazing to be here. My daughter just got married and I never thought I would live to see that day,” said Troia. “It is so important to get the word out to people because anyone with lungs can get lung cancer.”
This year, she will stand on the podium to kick-off the 39th Annual Fight For Air Corporate Cup. In this position, she will stand as proof that anyone can get lung cancer, that research into new lung cancer treatments saves lives, and she will be inspiration for everyone attending and watching.
The Fight For Air Corporate Cup, set for September 8 at Aksarben Village in Omaha, is a 10K and 2-Mile run/walk that benefits the Lung Association in Nebraska. Learn more and register at OmahaCorporateCup.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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