My name is Danielle George and I became involved with LUNG FORCE back in 2019 when Amy Richard, one of my best friends and colleagues, was diagnosed with Stage IV lung caner. Amy was 41 years old at diagnosis. You can imagine what a shock this all was to her, her family, and of course me. Amy fought her cancer harder than anyone I know. She was determined to never give up. She had a 7 year old daughter and 3 year old son that she was fighting for.
Amy and I worked together for a Cardiothoracic Surgery Practice. She was our nurse and she was the best nurse a practice could have. Our practice runs a Lung Cancer Screening Program that was started by our surgeon, Carmine Frumiento. It was one of Amy’s goal to push the screening and to find a way to include young women like her that are diagnosed with lung cancer without the risk factors (she was a non-smoker).
Amy would research everything and then send it to myself and the surgeon we worked with. I would get emails, texts, tweets all about lung cancer. This is how we became involved with Lung Force. Amy was asked to be the Lung Force Hero in 2019. She had been so excited to make the trip and talk to people about her disease. Unfortunately, her condition worsened and she was unable to make the trip. Her cancer had progressed. So, I told her I would go for her. Lance Boucher and the Lung Force team were amazing and made it possible for me to attend for her. It was an amazing experience. I met such amazing people and heard so many stories that matched Amy. I loved everything about it and each night I shared everything with Amy. Senator Angus King even made a video to Amy for us.
Amy died in August 2019, 1 and 1/2 years after her diagnosis. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about her. She was more than just my friend, she was my colleague and my person I could share anything with. We talked everyday even if it was a quick check in about how she was that day. I know she would be proud of me working with Lung Force again this year. Amy would want to fight for others to find ways to get diagnosed earlier and for better treatments.