LOUISVILLE, KY | July 8, 2020
It was the day after Mother’s Day when the 29-year-old Louisville mother-of-two Elizabeth Moir got the call – she was diagnosed with lung cancer. Now, she is participating in the American Lung Association in Kentucky’s LUNG FORCE Run/Walk to raise awareness that anyone can get lung cancer.
Moir’s lung problems began when she was 30 weeks pregnant with her second child. Severe lung pain sent her to the emergency room struggling to breathe. Doctors diagnosed her with pleuritic lung pain.
Then in April 2019, Moir went home for a quick bike workout and later coughed up blood. The doctor thought it was an infection, so they prescribed antibiotics. After a week of relief, the cough returned. She began a myriad of tests to determine the cause. Moir got the call on May 13, 2019 that it was lung cancer.
“I was shocked. I knew something was wrong, but I didn’t think it was cancer because I take pretty good care of myself,” said Moir.
The doctor scheduled a PET scan and an MRI to determine the spread of the cancer. The MRI revealed an unrelated medical emergency, a colloid cyst in her brain, which causes hydrocephalus. This needed to be removed immediately, so Moir went in for brain surgery.
The PET scan revealed more bad news – the cancer had spread to her liver, rib cage, spine and pelvis. Her health was quickly deteriorating, so the doctors needed to begin treatment soon after the brain surgery. Moir had her tumor tested for genetic markers, which revealed that the lung cancer is ALK positive and was eligible for a targeted treatment. She began chemotherapy pills to treat the cancer on June 7, 2019. Fortunately, the treatment worked quickly.
“Within 48 hours, I didn’t have a cough. Now, I feel relatively normal. The worst side effects are fatigue, extreme sun sensitivity and heat sensitivity,” she said.
Now, a little over a year after her diagnosis, Moir is participating in the LUNG FORCE Run/Walk to raise awareness for lung cancer. The fundraising event will be in person but spaced out over a week (July 17-26) with two different routes in Paristown to encourage social distancing.
“The main reason I want to raise is awareness is that I had no idea I could get lung cancer. I am a nonsmoker who has never been around secondhand smoke. When I went through the whole diagnosis process, everyone asked if I smoked. I feel like it is what we were taught. I had never heard that you don’t have to smoke to get lung cancer,” she said. “I like to think that if I had known, I would have caught it earlier.”
More information about the LUNG FORCE Run/Walk and registration is available at LUNGFORCE.org/Louisville. LUNG FORCE Run/Walk information and updates are also available on the organizations new podcast, LungCast (listen here).
The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease through education, advocacy and research. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to champion clean air for all; to improve the quality of life for those with lung disease and their families; and to create a tobacco-free future. For more information about the American Lung Association, a holder of the coveted 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and a Gold-Level GuideStar Member, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org.
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