Jalonna  K

Jalonna K., GA

My name is Jalonna and October 1, 2022 my mother succumbed to lung cancer. This was less than 3 months after her initial stage 4 diagnosis. 

Vanessa was more than just a wonderful mother and strong woman — she was a total fashionista and found the most joy in celebrating the accomplishments of others. Upon returning from our family vacation in Orlando in July 2022, my mother went into her annual doctor’s appointment generally healthy and a few weeks later received a stage 4 lung cancer diagnosis. She had never smoked cigarettes or any other substance. She exercised by walking her neighborhood almost daily, and was mindful to eat fruits and vegetables too.  2 months after the diagnosis, my sister, father and myself were planning her memorial service.

Losing my mother to cancer is an indelible wound, one that will forever cut deep into the fabric of my being. The suddenness of it all, the whirlwind of emotions, the unspoken words left waiting to be said - these are the silent burdens I still feel even a year after her passing. As I continue to grieve the absence of my mother, I hope my family’s experience underscores the critical importance of targeted early diagnosis and prevention. May the memory of Vanessa serve as a poignant reminder for everyone to prioritize their health, to undergo regular screenings, and to adopt healthy lifestyle habits.

I am so excited to be a part of the Lung Force Advocacy Day and use my involvement to ignite a collective resolve to fight against cancer, to advocate for early detection, and to cherish every moment with loved ones. Together, let us strive to turn pain into purpose, ensuring that we do all we can to spread lung cancer awareness and use our resources to elevate the conversation.

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