LUNG FORCE Heroes
I lost my mom, Deborah (Pierce) Bailes, on February 19, 2019 to lung cancer. Being so young—she was just 58 years old and otherwise healthy, the most difficult thing about this loss was that it felt like she never even had a chance. She had no typical lung cancer symptoms at first; her cancer was detected during an abdominal scan related to her gallbladder. And after it was discovered, the actual diagnosis process took months. Multiple doctors, scans and biopsies were involved, along with way too much wasted time waiting for appointments and test results. All the while, treatment hadn’t started and her disease was progressing.
By February 1st when she finally received an official diagnosis, she had become too sick and weak for treatment. Against the doctor’s recommendations, she had a round of chemotherapy anyway. Our thought was that if the cancer was going to win either way, we had to at least try to slow it down. So we tried. And it obviously didn’t work. And that is why I became a local ambassador for the American Lung Association in Cleveland, Ohio. I support the American Lung Association because they support research for earlier detection and more personalized treatment so that everyone has a fighting chance against lung cancer.
First published: February 13, 2020
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Hero stories are the point of view of the Hero and not necessarily the American Lung Association. The Lung Association does not endorse any specific provider, facility or treatment.