I lost my mom, Deborah (Pierce) Bailes, on February 19th 2019 to lung cancer. Being so young – she was just 58 years old – and otherwise healthy, the most difficult thing about this loss was that it felt like she never even had a chance.
She had no typical lung cancer symptoms at first; her cancer was detected during an abdominal scan related to her gallbladder. And after it was discovered, the actual diagnosis process took months. Multiple doctors, scans and biopsies were involved, along with way too much wasted time waiting for appointments, insurance approvals and then test results. All the while, treatment hadn’t started and her disease was progressing . . .
By February 1st when she finally received an official diagnosis, she had become too sick and weak for treatment. Against the doctor’s recommendations, she had a round of chemo anyway. Our thought was that if the cancer was going to win either way, we had to at least try to slow it down. So we tried. And it obviously didn’t work. And that is why I’ve become a local ambassador for the American Lung Association in Cleveland, Ohio.
Joining the American Lung Association and participating in our local events raises funds for healthy lungs and clean air. Funding helps provide patient education, supports research and advocacy efforts that will improve the lives of everyone living with lung disease including lung cancer, COPD and asthma.
I support the American Lung Association because they support research for earlier detection and more personalized treatment so that everyone has a fighting chance against lung cancer and other lung diseases such as COPD and asthma.