Charleston Turns Turquoise for a Good Cause
LUNG FORCE, the national movement led by the American Lung Association to unite women in the fight against lung cancer and for lung health, made a splash last year in the Avondale Business District in Charleston, S.C., to help raise awareness while bathing businesses in turquoise.
LUNG FORCE’s signature color of turquoise and distinctive “whoosh” icon helps symbolize clean air, breathing, and healthy lungs—and the force it will take to improve lung health nationwide. Businesses in the Avondale Business District together took a stand during November 2015 by turning their stores turquoise to raise public awareness for lung cancer, the number one cancer killer of women and men. The neighborhood hosted nightly events that helped rally our supporters to raise the funds needed to find better methods of early detection and better treatments, as well as critical funds for vital lung cancer research. Thousands of patrons and community members were armed with the information that while anyone can get lung cancer, lung cancer in women is underdiagnosed and frequently untreated.
Participating businesses that helped the Avondale Business District shine in a new light included Al Di La, Avondale Wine & Cheese, Charleston Community Yoga, Gala Desserts, Lava Salon, Mellow Mushroom, Pearlz Little Oyster Bar, Triangle Char Bar, Verde, VooDoo Tiki Bar and Lounge, and West Of – West Ashley’s Newspaper. Lava Salon even installed turquoise extensions to demonstrate their support of the American Lung Association’s efforts. Gala Desserts also sold LUNG FORCE cupcakes throughout November and donated $1 for each cupcake sold.
The Avondale Business District is a shining example of how communities across the southeastern region are turning turquoise and showing that by banding together as one LUNG FORCE, we will reverse the course of lung disease, improve the lung health of millions and, ultimately, save lives. We stand together with a collective voice and determination to make lung cancer history.
Beating Lung Cancer: A survivor’s tale
Kathleen S., from Orlando, Fla., was diagnosed with lung cancer in 1999. Here is her incredibly true story:
“My diagnosis was a HUGE surprise, and it was not easy to obtain. I had been busy planning my wedding and also had a busy career and small children. I had forgotten to get a flu shot.
On my honeymoon, I caught the flu. My husband insisted that I have a chest X-ray. The X-ray showed something in my upper right lung the size of a golf ball. Because I had never smoked and was only 41 years old, the doctors thought I had a fungal growth or round pneumonia. They tried unsuccessfully to get a biopsy.
Finally, in May 1999, I traveled to a major cancer center. The radiologists there said that whatever was in my upper right lung was also in my left lung, but much smaller. The surgeon removed the lobe of my left lung that contained the smaller tumor. It was non-small cell lung cancer. It did not appear to have spread outside the lungs.
In June 1999, I had a traditional thoracotomy to remove the upper lobe of my right lung. The only available statistics, based upon meager data, showed that because I had lung cancer in both lungs, I had a zero percent chance of surviving five years. I decided that the statistics were unreliable and that SOMEONE had to live for more than five years. I had five or six rounds of traditional chemotherapy---tumor typing tests were not common then.
Life went on. I went back to exercising. My lung capacity came back to a great extent, because my remaining lung tissue expanded. They say I am cured. I want people to know that the only statistic that matters is the one that you live to create. Every case is different. Every person is different. If you are not comfortable with your doctor, go to another one. Go to a major cancer center, if possible. Speak up. No one deserves lung cancer. Everyone deserves to have a fighting chance when they are diagnosed.”