I am a 51-year old never-smoker in otherwise great health who, after experiencing wheezing and shortness of breath while exercising, was diagnosed with stage IV non-small cell lung cancer with the ALK mutation. Ironically, it was training for a marathon swim event that is a fundraiser for cancer screening and treatment programs at a local hospital that caused me to notice many of the symptoms.
I have three teenage daughters and I hope the amazing targeted therapies now available allow me to be part of their lives for years to come. I live near New York City and am being treated at Weill Cornell NY Presbyterian. I hope to work with the hospital and other groups to help others learn about the "new face of lung cancer" and end any stigma associated with the disease while increasing access to screening and advancing treatments.