My name is Lora Dal Bo, and this is why I make Every Step Count
A phone call.
One simple phone call I made nine years ago saved my life and allows me to write this today.
Having lived a healthy life for many years with only minor issues, I didn’t think much of it when I started experiencing a little shortness of breath and some other small symptoms. I had just returned from a trip, so I assumed I had caught a cold or flu on the plane. And, when the symptoms continued and even worsened after a few months, I tried to explain it away as simply a natural side effect of regularly working with people who were often around children of course I couldn’t shake the bug I was sure I caught.
After numerous friends and colleagues refused to let me simply ignore these symptoms or accept my “easy explanations,” any longer, I finally called a local clinic. It didn’t take them long to convince me that, indeed, I should take this seriously.
Within two hours I was in their facility and undergoing a chest x-ray. Within another two hours I had checked in to a local hospital so they could monitor me for what the x-rays showed was an “eggplant sized tumor” on my lungs. That phone call got me into all this, and now I was told that if I didn’t listen to their advice, I may very well die that very weekend! That one phone call.
Even with the news of an impending surgery, I couldn’t grasp the magnitude of the situation. I confidently called my office and let them know that I’d have to be out for a few days for a procedure. Nearly a full month later, I left that hospital after having a tumor attached to the lower left lobe of my lung removed. The mass was so large that it moved my heart to the right side of my chest and had begun to cut off my blood supply.
The result of that single call was that my life was saved, and I was so thankful for that.
Unfortunately, that wasn’t the last such call I was to have. Just about a year after my surgery, I received a call telling me that my father was diagnosed with lung cancer and was going in for surgery as well. Having never smoked a day in his life and never having any serious lung diseases previously, it was another great surprise, and, thankfully, another life saved due to quick action by excellent surgeons and staff.
I knew my father and I were lucky, but I also knew that millions of others would not be so fortunate if they weren’t informed or didn’t take action, so this past year I joined the American Lung Association’s LUNG FORCE Walk event. Upon doing so, I met a team captain who encouraged me to become more active with the organization, and when I did, I knew that I belonged.
Today, I am on a planning committee for the next LUNG FORCE Walk, working to promote the fun Fight For Air Climb in the spring, and asking each of you who read this to join me to help end the number one cancer killer in the country lung cancer.
I read a simple quote on the Lung Association’s Lung.org website that said, “when you can’t breathe, nothing else matters.” And it hit me, nothing could be truer. And it’s not just lung cancer that they are working to end, it’s asthma, COPD, pulmonary fibrosis and other lung diseases. They also advocate for cleaner air, an end to smoking and vaping and so many other healthy steps we can take to make Arizona and our world a healthier place.
Please join me at one of these fun events this year, it’s a wonderful investment in a cause that saves lives. And, best of all, they’re only one click, or one simple phone call, away.