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Julie C.

My mom, Mary, was diagnosed with Stage IV SCLC right after my wedding. She selflessly didn't tell me about it until I got back from my honeymoon in order to ensure I went. I told her I was pregnant when she was in the hospital after her first round of chemo was shutting down her organs. Even when the oncologist told her she had weeks to live, she requested another round of a different chemo treatment. Luckily, it worked, and she became one of the 2% of SCLC patients that survive after two years.

Unfortunately, in the fall of 2015, her body started rejecting chemo treatments. Due to low white counts, she was no longer able to receive any chemo but would continue with radiation treatments. On Valentine's Day, 2016, the day of my niece's baptism, Mom was put on hospice. A month later, on March 21, she died peacefully at home with her family by her side.

My mother's amazing strength and her enduring love for her family are what allowed her to handle all the nausea, weight loss, insomnia, weakness, and overall sickness she, like many others, faced during her last living years. She miraculously witnessed three grandchildren be born. Unfortunately, she has missed the birth of my second daughter, her ninth and youngest grandchild. She has missed graduations, moves, concerts, football and baseball games, birthdays and holidays.

With everyone's support for the Lung Force Walk, hopefully one day no one affected by chronic lung disease will ever have to miss life's special moments ever again.

First published: June 27, 2017

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