My stage 4 lung cancer diagnosis in December of 2016 was an utter shock to me and my family. I was a healthy, non-smoking 50-year-old mother of three who, despite having lost a parent to lung cancer, never thought I could be at risk. Looking back at that time, I am astounded by how much I didn’t know.
Once the initial shock had subsided and I had settled into life in treatment, I began to learn as much as I could about lung cancer. I joined support communities, making connections with patients from around the globe and benefiting from their experience. I combed the Internet for information about my situation, as well as the varied situations of my new group of friends. I threw myself into fundraising for lung cancer research and became involved with the LUNGevity Foundation.
In the spring of 2018, I traveled with my wife to the LUNGevity summit in Washington, DC. We spent a life-changing 3 days immersed in information and camaraderie, making friends and connections that we treasure to this day. Through my involvement with LUNGevity, I had the honor of being nominated to serve as a consumer reviewer with the LCRP. My growing desire to make a difference in the lives of lung cancer patients, present and future, made me jump at this opportunity, and the rest is history.
I am now in my third year as a consumer reviewer, and it has been every bit as rewarding as I had hoped it would be. The work is hard, especially for someone like me who lacks a scientific background. The opportunity, however, to participate in something so important makes all the hours spent sweating over the applications thoroughly worthwhile. I feel tremendous hope for the future when I get to see what the researchers are working on, and I am always honored and humbled to share a conference table with the brilliant scientists who are superheroes to me and my fellow patients. To be able to provide the patient perspective on proposed research is a gift that I cherish, and I take great pride in the work I have been able to do for the LCRP.
Last updated Thursday, May 26, 2022