As many of you know, through your loyal participation in previous years, LUNG FORCE, an American Lung Association campaign to fight lung cancer, is a cause dear to my heart. It has allowed me to carry on the legacy of an important woman I lost to lung cancer. My hero and a huge piece of my heart, my grandmother, Doris Dooyema. In the last 5 years WE (I say this because it's taken each one of you donating and participating) have raised over $120,000 for Team DD! When I started with LUNG FORCE my goal was always to reach six figures and we have finally done it!!!! For this walk I want to raise $20,000 and know we can do this in 3 months!!! I am always blown away at the generosity and passion everyone has shown for a cause which deserves A LOT more attention considering it’s the NUMBER ONE CANCER KILLER.
I always say alone we can make a difference but together we are a force. So with this sentiment in mind, the past Lung Force walks have been in Los Angeles BUT this year we are combining forces across SoCal and doing one HUGE walk in San Diego together. I want Team DD to be the TOP TEAM and California to be the BIGGEST WALK YET!!! I have seen us meet and beat each goal and believe together we can make this happen too. It takes each of you and each dollar counts. The most important part is to know I am not asking YOU to donate everything… I want you to get out and fundraise. In doing so we are educating others, sharing stories and facts while growing a force for change. I'm asking for us all to use our voices, to break the stigma lung cancer has of being the “smoking cancer” we must educate those around us and unite together for this worthy cause!
If by now you don't know my grandma's story I want to share it here in hopes it inspires you to join our force!!! Doris was one of the most influential people in my life and a living example of love to all who encountered her. She was a selfless, vibrant, healthy, goofy, NON smoking 79 year old woman. The brightest of souls and tough as they came! She had survived breast cancer 5 years before and knew to cherish each breath given. The day after her 60th wedding anniversary she went into the doctor and was told she had bronchitis. She remained sick for awhile and was diagnosed weeks later with stage 4 lung cancer. The cancer was very aggressive and spread quickly, to our shock and despair after less than 6 months she was taken from us!
It wasn’t until about a year after her death we later found out the cause of her lung cancer which was, radon. Radon is the breaking down of uranium and was found in the soil around the basement. It's odorless and colorless gas BUT can be tested for in homes if only we knew! The levels in their home and time of exposure eventually poisoned her and caused her lung cancer. It causes over 21,000 cases a year in the US alone but it can be stopped!
It wasn't until she was sick that I learned all these facts about lung cancer. I learned lung cancer is the #1 cancer killer of women in America and the death rate has doubled in the last few decades. I learned there is no early detection methods and it can happen to anyone, INCLUDING non-smokers, like her. She told me before passing she wished to have more time to inspire people with her story. So I carry on her desire each day now with her strength beating in my heart.
In her absence I have been given an opportunity. The opportunity to share her story to help others. The opportunity to use my voice and outreach. The opportunity to fight alongside those who are fighting and let them know they aren't alone. But more than that TOGETHER we have an opportunity to evoke change through Lung Force.
Forward progress to finding a cure takes putting one foot in front of the other. I will do exactly this and hope you can be by my side!
I'm asking you to PLEASE join my Team DD, either again or for the first time, on January 26, 2020! Come to San Diego and lets turn the town turquoise, talk and walk TOGETHER! Let’s walk for those beside us who are fighting, those who've been effected and those with us in spirit. United we give, we walk, we heal, we fight... We find a cure!! All my gratitude and love ❤️
P.S. Please join us at the SoCal Fight For Air Climb! May 2 at the AON Building DTLA
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