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Julie V.

I've been a nurse for over five years in various departments such as emergency medicine, cardiac floor and recover room. I've seen all the devastating effects smoking has on your body - from COPD to lung cancer. It doesn't matter how old or young you are - cancer doesn't discriminate. But that is not what has inspired me to volunteer and donate to this cause that is close to my heart.

My mother Sally has been battling COPD since I was about 12 years old. Caused by her smoking, she made many trips to the emergency department for steroids and breathing treatments as well as frequent hospitalizations. Unable to quit smoking due to its addictive nature, her COPD naturally got worse. Things took a devastating turn in June of this year when my mother was diagnosed with non-small cell adenocarcinoma. After numerous tests, we found out it was just in her lung, we were lucky.

Due to my mother's severe COPD she was unfortunately not a good candidate for surgery. Her oncologist recommended radiation. She received her first treatment over the fall and we are awaiting a follow up CT Scan. This has been an eye opening experience, one that I wish I could save others from which is why this cause is so important to me. My mother is my best friend, the person I'm most like.

Please help me help her and others by donating or volunteering to this cause. When you join the American Lung Association and LUNG FORCE in the fight against lung cancer and for lung health, you support the American Lung Association's mission to improve and save lives. Together, with your help, we will raise awareness and funds to defeat lung cancer and raise our voices for lung health.

First published: February 20, 2018

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