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Loss happens to all of us. But how we grieve is up to us. Grief is about change. And for me, I choose to engage with my grief and do something in service to others. That is how I heal. I also use story telling to heal my soul. I talk about my sister, and my mother to all that will listen.
My name is Sharon Blumberg. I am now the only member of my immediate family not diagnosed by lung disease. First their were five of us, and now there are three.
Most recently, my sister Debra died from metastatic lung cancer; the same disease that took my mother in 1989. My sister always said she was more like my mother than I was. And now, in death, that is true. My brother had a stroke last year from smoking, and my dad lives with COPD after having a collapsed lung. They were all smokers. I never smoked. Well, I tried it once and hated it. My mother, of blessed memory, could never understand how I could smoke pot. That is a story for another day.
My sister died on December 16, 2022, on my father’s birthday. To me her death was sudden. To her it was slow and painful. She was found on the floor of her apartment, barely breathing after three days of not responding to calls, texts or emails. We hadn’t spoken in months as she also suffered from mental illness. Her demons got in the way of our love. Where do I put all of my unspoken words? Time ran out.
With this sudden realization, I panicked. I thought, I too may have some form of lung disease lurking because I grew up surrounded by second hand smoke. I recently had a series of tests and scans, and I have no detectable obstructions, blockages or issues. Yeah for me!
I live alongside all this grief in my heart.
Now I am honored to serve as a 2023 Lung Force Hero in honor of my sister, Debra Joy. Together, let us work towards a cure, help others to quit smoking, and love on those suffering in silence with emotional distress.
Your donation and participation will help support the American Lung Association's research innovation, which leads to early detection for all and better treatments that give everyone a fighting chance.
Be a part of the FORCE to defeat lung cancer and lung disease one step at a time.
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