This website uses cookies. By continuing you are agreeing to our privacy policy.

  • Share this page:


Pamela L

The diagnosis came on the day before New Year's Eve last year. My wife and I were completely numb. How could this possibly happen? How could I have Stage III Lung Cancer? It had to be a mistake!

This was no mistake. I have lung cancer. I, who have spent my entire life actively pursuing health and fitness, have lung cancer. I, who have competed in athletics since I can remember, have lung cancer. I, who never smoked, have lung cancer. I, who went vegetarian over 7 years ago, have lung cancer. I, at 49, have lung cancer.

So it now goes that I FIGHT lung cancer. No symptoms to alert me. A simple chest x-ray found the tumors. 8 months of chemotherapy, 6 weeks of radiation, and 2/3 of my right lung removed, I continue to FIGHT lung cancer.

I am a fighter. I am a winner. I will NOT lose to this. All those years competing at top-level athletics prepared me for this. Two NCAA Championship rings remind me that I am tough, that I know what it takes to persevere. I am a winner!

This fight will not get me down. I have too much to do on this earth. I have a beautiful daughter whom I want to watch grow and succeed in her own life. I have a wonderful life partner with whom I want to continue to experience the world. I have amazing friends and family who are behind me in this challenge. And now I have LUNG FORCE to support me along this journey.

I found this quote recently and now live by it: "My current situation is NOT my final destination." ~ unknown

First published: December 16, 2015

  Share this story:
Tell your story View all stories Donate

American Lung Association is solely responsible for content.

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.


Donate to LUNG FORCE

Get Involved


Events Near Me

Lung Health Barometer


Sponsors & Supporters


Sign up for updates

Get the latest news and information on the fight against lung cancer and for lung health.

Red button with telephone
Ask An Expert

Questions about your lung health? Need help finding healthcare? Call 1-800-LUNGUSA.

Get help
Red button of two hand prints
We need your generous support

Make a difference by delivering research, education and advocacy to those impacted by lung disease.

Button of turquoise LUNG FORCE swirl

LUNG FORCE unites women and their loved ones across the country to stand together in the fight against lung cancer.

Get involved
Join the fight for healthy lungs and healthy air.
Donate Now.