Hi, I'm Susan, and 7 years ago, I was diagnosed with Stage 4 Lung Cancer that had spread to my adrenal gland and lymph nodes and gone undetected for 5-7 years. I never smoked, and I felt fine (except for an allergy-like cough). So, hearing that I had an inoperable and incurable disease, with a 50% chance of living a year and 1.6% chance of surviving 5 years, brought about a plethora of emotions hard to describe.
Despite the hopeless medical statistics, I was determined to do everything in my control to fight my disease. I did extensive research in both western medicine and holistic practices, and took every step to embrace wellness and get the best medical care possible... while keeping a positive attitude and believing I was going to beat my disease. I received treatment at Northwestern (which included 2 years on a daily targeted cancer treatment drug, 1 clinical trial, and 3 surgeries after a tremendous/unexpected response to treatment). I grew my faith exponentially. I practiced numerous alternative methods. And, I completely changed my diet - eliminating sugar, meats and dairy - and moved to a primarily plant-based diet. I believe all these things worked together to help me beat the number one cancer killer........... I've been off all treatment for 5 years (Praise God!)!!
I have made it my passion to bring as much awareness to lung cancer and raise as much money for research as I can. I want to help prevent this horrible disease, that took my father's life in 1999 and several friends' lives since then, from affecting others. I am a spokesperson for the American Lung Association, who has given me a platform from which to advocate and fundraise. Together, with my friends, family and colleagues, we have raised amost $400,000 and will fund our 6th lung cancer research study this summer to help find the causes, early detection methods and more personalized treatments for lung cancer.
Like most of the population, I thought lung cancer was a smokers' disease, but ANYONE (at any age, smoker or not) CAN GET LUNG CANCER. There are over 400,000 people living with it today (60% of them have never smoked or are former smokers that quit years ago). Please walk with and in support of me and all those who have been touched by lung cancer on Sunday, Sept 24th. Or, if you aren't able to walk, please help by making a donation to my page, where the American Lung Association has committed to putting 100% of your money directly toward a lung cancer research study.
Thank you for your generous support in every way and for giving hope for a cure, HUGS,