It was three years ago that I was diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer, something that changed our families’ lives forever. It was very difficult to be given news like this at the age of 55 and having never smoked. I was extremely fortunate that fantastic doctors were placed in my path during this journey. I continue to go to Shands in Gainesville to meet with my oncologist every other month. I am blessed with a wonderful support team consisting of Kent, Kaylie, Kyle, Kiera, Alejandro, my family, friends and Suntree Elementary faculty that pray for me often! I am very thankful that medical research has made great strides in lung cancer treatment research. While my current once-a-day medication (Tagrisso) continues to work well, my oncologist has a “Plan B” and a “Plan C” if/when my medicine stops working.
It is essential that “Team Deb” continues to raise funds for lung cancer research as my future depends on that research! My current wonder drug (Tagrisso) would never have been developed without this research. There are over 130 clinical trials for lung cancer research right now! At some point, I will more than likely need to be a part of a trial and Kent and I are determined to continue to raise funds for lung cancer research. In three years of participating in the Lung Force Walk, Team Deb has raised over $18,000, with $10,000 being raised last year! I am really proud of that! Kent and I currently volunteer on the Lung Force Cabinet to help make a difference in the world of lung cancer by increasing Lung Force Walk participation and fundraising. Also, this past fall, I was recognized as the Lung Hero of the Year by the Central Florida American Lung Association.
This year the Lung Force Walk will be on Saturday, May 8th at Sea World. We will be walking through the park. Sea World has committed to practice social distancing and walking in “clusters” through the park. You also have the advantage of walking virtually which is called “Walk Your Way.”
Please consider joining “Team Deb” and walking with us for the 2021 Lung Force Walk. If you are unable to walk with us, please consider making a donation to the American Lung Association through this page. Please make sure you donate through “Team Deb.” One in seventeen women will develop lung cancer in their lifetime. We need your help! I will always be grateful for my support team. My motto through this cancer journey is that you don’t know how strong you are until strong is all that you have! Until a cure is found for lung cancer, I will live with this everyday for the rest of my life.
Thank you for believing in me!
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