My name is Shantel, and this is why I make Every Step Count
First, I want to start by sharing my gratitude… to you… yes YOU as you read this! Our entire nationwide Climb Community is a powerful force in this fight against lung cancer. I hope you know how grateful I am to each of you for your generosity and love. Through my Team DD, we have carried on the legacy of my grandmother, Doris Dooyema, and all your loved ones, together as a force for change.
Here is my WHY:
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!!!
About Grandma Doris and Her Fight Against Lung Cancer
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, goofy, healthy, 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 given breath. The day after her 60th wedding anniversary she went to the doctor and was told she had bronchitis. She remained sick for a while 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 a year after her death that we found out the cause of her lung cancer. Radon.
Radon is the breaking down of uranium and was found in the soil around the basement of their home. 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. I share this in the hopes that some may choose to test their homes and maybe, save a loved one.
Lung Cancer is the #1 Cancer Killer in Women in the U.S.
Radon causes over 21,000 deaths 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 for lung health, healthy air and put an end to this pandemic and let them know they are not alone. But more than that, TOGETHER we have an opportunity to evoke change through the American Lung Association. Fighting lung disease takes victories in all forms and one dollar, one patient, one life and one breath at a time. I will do exactly this in honor of my Granny and hope you can be by my virtual side.
I made a promise to her that I would continue her fight and honor the life she bravely fought for. I wish I could tell her now, 8 years later, how our team continues to grow and give, and that TOGETHER we have raised $177,174! I know her story has helped save lives, brought some comfort to those who have also lost a loved one, and continues to educate people on lung cancer for nonsmokers and the deadly effects of radon. I know some of you may be new to my initiative and fight, so I encourage you to PLEASE take a moment and read my grandmother’s story below… it can save a life!
Thank you for all your support, generosity, and love. I know that together we can raise awareness and funds that are so needed at this time.