It was Ash Wednesday and I was picking up pizza and then going to church to get ashes when my phone rang. It was my mom. She was hysterical, crying telling me my Aunt Linda was told by her pulmonologist that she has a mass on her lung and she needs a PET scan and if it's as bad as he thinks it is, she could have six months to live. We were all in shock, but without tests confirming it, we were going to stay positive and get the facts. Because for weeks she was being treated for pneumonia and the doctor must have had it all wrong. Actually, the pulmonologist had confirmed a week earlier that she has stage 2 COPD, so it must be that.
She went for all the tests scheduled by her doctor and on March 13, 2017 she got the call that she has stage 4 lung cancer. It was in her lungs, brain and hip. Her diagnosis: Non small cell lung cancer, stage 4 with adenocarcinoma. Our reaction as a family was, "Ok, what does that mean and what options does she have". We live in New York and are very fortunate to have Memorial Sloan Kettering close by. So that's what she did. She went to the best and is getting treatment.
Tons of family members and friend have reached out and wanted to know how they can help. What can they do? So I went online and searched Lung Health and came across the American Lung Association. What a great resource. I called my mom and said there was a local walk in June and I think we should form a team to show our support. So we created Linda's Warriors.
We will be walking on June 17 in Westchester and our team is now 26 members and growing. My aunt is beyond grateful and I truly believe anyone fighting a disease needs love and support. As I tell people that say sorry to me about your aunt, this could be any of us. We believe no one fights alone and want to show Linda that we are all going through this with her. All the team members are excited to raise money to help fund medications and treatment so people like my aunt can get better and even fund a cure.
First Published: May 11, 2017
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