In the beginning of November 2015, my life changed forever. My dad called to tell me that they had found a spot on my mom’s lungs, but she would be okay until Monday. Over the next couple days she got worse. We rushed her to the hospital on Sunday night. Within an hour we found out she had stage 4 lung cancer. The cancer had metastasized to her vocal cords and brain. She was admitted to Good Sam hospital where she was to go through fourteen rapid radiation treatments to her brain and then chemo on her lungs. After the third radiation treatment, my mom had declined so much. They ended up rushing her to ICU. My mom was in ICU for a few days before we decided with her to call Hospice.
My mom was 63 years old, she was my hero, my best friend. She was a wife of 47 years, a mother of 2, a grandmother of 4. A sister to 7. A listening ear and advisor to so many. My mom died in my arms three weeks after being diagnosed with lung cancer. It has almost been a year and my life has been forever changed. There is so many things that I wish I knew about my mother, so many more question about life. One thing she did tell me was to travel more, make more memories. As the holidays approach this year, they will be different. My mom was Thanksgiving, she was Christmas, she was every holiday, she was everything. So when the LungForce Walk comes around I will walk with my family and friends to honor her. I will do everything I can to keep her memory alive. I love you mom, until we meet again. Always in my heart, Ursula
My son Cooper was born on October 12, 2012. He has two sisters and two brothers. He is a Happy, fun loving little guy. When he was born he was healthy. At about 3 months old he got a cold that quickly turned into something more. He had lots of wheezing and we took him to the ER. We stayed for 4 days and he was then diagnosed with RSV. He continued for the next couple of years to be a wheezier and would get easily winded, we starting seeing the pulmonary department at Children's and they were great. They diagnosed him with Asthma and tried several different steroid inhalers to try and help. Every few months he would need more oral steroids and was given a nebulizer for at home use. We had quite a few stays at the hospital as well.
Last year was the worst yet. He had pneumonia around 9 times and in the last 6 months has been admitted for at least 3-10 day periods each at Children's hospital for breathing complications. In August of last year the doctor gave him an X-Ray when he was "healthy" and seen some irregular things so she ordered a CT scan. That showed several nodules and Bronchiectasis with an unknown cause. He has had all sorts of testing done to try and determine the cause we are still waiting on some results. He now does vest therapy 2-4 times a day as well as 2 hyper-tonic saline treatments through his nebulizer on top of all of his other medicines. He gets sick super easy with high fevers so he wears a mask when around lots of people to help prevent this. He is also on azithromycin 3 days a week to try and prevent illness. Your normal cold could get Cooper extremely ill.
We are praying and believing for a cure for our little man. It is hard to see him struggle when he would love to be just a "regular" kid. He never looses his spunk and positive attitude about absolutely everything. We are believing for a miracle.
LUNG FORCE Heroes are patients, caregivers, family, friends and co-workers of those who are impacted by lung cancer —or other lung diseases. Our Heroes share their powerful journeys - stories which help educate the public about what it’s like to have lung cancer or lung disease. Heroes may also be asked to speak at a LUNG FORCE Walk Kick-off event, Corporate Recruitment event and/or on Walk day.
If you're interested in becoming a LUNG FORCE Hero, please contact Amy Ullman for more information. And we invite you to Share Your Voice on our website and read about other people’s experiences too. Everyone’s story is unique, and we appreciate you getting involved and becoming a LUNG FORCE Hero!