I taught English and humanities at Deerfield High School for 34 years. Now I live in Chambersburg, PA and have just completed five years of caring for my wife Leslie who died of non-smoking lung cancer October 22, 2015.
I thought we might lick the cancer as new treatments seem to have proliferated almost weekly. I was especially encouraged by the 60 Minute program which featured a researcher from Duke University injecting the polio virus into a woman's brain tumor and she survived! Last December Leslie was stricken with meningitis and we thought we would lose her. However, like the polio virus down at Duke, the meningitis activated Leslie's almost non-existent immune system and she "recovered" for about eight months. I am grateful for that.
In October the FDA finally approved nivolumab to treat lung cancer. I was told about this treatment by a friend who works in the San Francisco laboratory which had perfected it. Leslie was given one dose of Opdiva (the commercial name) but, shortly after, she started to go downhill to such an extent that her kidneys failed and she died. I am still an avid supporter of nivolumab and I believe that if Leslie could have been treated with it before she contracted the meningitis, she might still be alive today.
We have regularly given alms to the American Lung Association. In the 1980's I taught a quit smoking class for the Chicago Lung Association. I totally understand the importance of cancer research. I'm here to help if I can.