I was never a smoker but I was told I had six months to live when I was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer at the age of 44. I am a single-mom. My daughters were in first and third grades.
I found out I have the EGFR mutation which qualified me for clinical trials. Eight years later; I am still battling but I am grateful for every day. My older daughter applies for college next year. She plans to go after EGFR by becoming a biomedical engineer working with CRISPR and other innovative treatments.
While I dont know what tomorrow will bring, I am living my best life out of a collection of grateful moments well-lived. I wouldnt trade my journey for the world. The cancer was my liberator. In its "refiner's fire", I am becoming my best self.
I beleive my purpose is to shed light on genetic mutations which cause lung cancer. These affect never-smoker women of Asian descent- a vulnerable population which needs a voice. I hope my daughter will join the growing number of scientists creating drugs to combat these mutations. I beleive I will be cancer-free one day with the balance of these innovative therapeutics and self-care to surround myself with peace and joy.
Friends tell me my daughters and I inspire them. I am glad my story gives hope to others in facing and overcoming their challenges.
We need to spread the word and raise more research dollars to find more of these targeted treatments.