Ten months to the day, after they married, the unthinkable happened. On January 23rd of 2014, Dan received news that rocked their entire world, which had only begun to feel normal again after Becca's accident.
I logged into my voice mail and heard, "Kellie, its Dan. I was recently diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer and would really like to talk to you if you can call me back."
"What?! Are you kidding me?" I was in complete shock. I immediately dialed back and Rebecca answered his phone. She'd been crying and I heard the distress in her voice as she said hello.
"Becca, its Kellie. I just heard a shocking message from Dan. Can you tell me what's happening?"
Rebecca's voice was shaking as she began to share how Dan had been very tired for over a month and how he had been losing weight rapidly. She wanted him to go in to see the doctor but he kept putting it off. When he finally did go, the test results came back saying he had stage 4 lung cancer and given a short time to live.
Last October, the World Health Organization declared air pollution to be a carcinogen. Lung cancer seems inevitable for those living near areas that give off more pollution than normal, such as coal fired power plant like the one Dan lived near as a kid. It was hard to believe that Dan Powell, the air quality champion, now had lung cancer.