Dawn H

Dawn H., WA

In May, 2013 I noticed a cough that wouldn't go away. After many visits to my primary care provider, two chest x-rays and several allergy medicines and inhalers, I finally sought a second opinion. In August, 2014 I had a chest CT scan which revealed a tumor in my lung. From there, my PET scan confirmed that it had spread to my rib, spine and hip. I am 51 years old, a non-smoker and live a very healthy lifestyle. The shock that came with this diagnosis was unbelievable.

Both of my parents have had lung cancer. My father had adenocarcinoma, the same type I have. My mother had squamous cell carcinoma and she lost her brother and sister to lung cancer. When my parents were diagnosed I did not know that the funding for lung cancer was so low due to a "stigma" that is associated with this disease. I believe that everyone deserves a chance at life, smoker or non-smoker. My goal in all of this is to raise awareness so that we can help fund research!

So far, I have undergone 3 treatments and am going strong. I continue to work and exercise on a regular basis and will do so as long as I am able. I believe that a positive attitude will help me get through this and that it is important to share my story so that others out there will share theirs. Write your congressman and state senators, let's spread the word!

First Published: October 31, 2014

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