My name is Joseph and I am a nonsmoker. In January of 2013, I was diagnosed with advanced stage lung cancer. For most of 2013, I underwent treatment for that disease. Eight rounds of chemotherapy, major surgery to remove a large portion of my right lung, then twenty-five treatments of radiation to my chest. I completed treatment in October of 2013. This was an extremely intense and emotional time of my life for me, my family, and close friends. It has been over two years since I have completed treatment and I continue to show no evidence of disease! My doctors have promoted me to annual CAT scans of my chest and tell me that the chance of local recurrence of that cancer has greatly diminished. I am a lucky man blessed by God with doctors that provided great care, and the wealth of family and friends supporting me. I can't begin to describe how I seek out the best in every new day!
My journey as a nonsmoker fighting lung cancer, has inspired me to be passionate about a number of things that make it so important for me to share my story. Providing hope to those fighting cancer is a most fulfilling experience. I do this by passionately listening to what they are experiencing and telling my story. Funding to find a cure for lung cancer is significantly lower than funding to find cures for other cancers, yet lung cancer is one of the biggest killers of both men and women. One reason for this is the myth that people who get lung cancer get it from smoking. More and more nonsmokers get lung cancer each year. This myth must be dispelled, which is why it is so important for people like me to tell my story, and organizations like the American Lung Association present the facts and educate others.
Last and most important we must educate our children on the harmful effects of tobacco products so they do not use them. Smoking is one of the major causes of lung cancer, so we must help them to chose not to smoke. They are our future.