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Melissa C :

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10 years ago I took a leap of faith when I accepted a teaching position in Florida. This involved moving from Pennsylvania and leaving a teaching job I enjoyed, my close friends and my college age children. Something told me I should go, so I followed my instincts which is why I'm here today.

I needed a routine physical for my new teaching job and that is how the cancer was found. I'll never forget hearing the heart stopping words, "You have lung cancer." After those words slowly sunk in and my brain struggled to process this information, I asked, "How can I have Lung Cancer, I never smoked?," and with that my journey began.

Despite numerous setbacks and countless courses of chemo I am still here. Despite being initially told that I had 3 to 5 years to live, I continue to live thanks to excellent medical care and the 4 clinical trials I've been on, including the one I'm on now. Throughout those years I continued to teach school and still live a productive life.

Being a lung cancer advocate and mentor is now my passion. Most importantly, I'm able to spend precious time with my children and grandchildren who all now live nearby.

First Published: 10/22/2015 3:32:00 PM

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