Monday, November 2, 2015

What a Way to Start Lung Cancer Awareness Month

November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month, but I hadn’t thought about how I would participate as a lung cancer survivor until late last week.  As it turned out, I had a great weekend that helped me kick off the month.
On Friday, I had meetings in Boston, so I made plans to also have lunch with Janet Freeman-Daily, who was in Boston for the Partners Connected Health Symposium. Janet is a well-known lung cancer advocate who spends her time “supporting others in online forums, raising awareness (through writing, blogging and public speaking), collaborating with lung cancer nonprofits and researchers, and participating in a clinical trial. I tweet as @JFreemanDaily and share moderator duties for Lung Cancer Social Media (#LCSM) tweetchats on Thursdays at 8 PM ET.” What an honor to meet and spend time with Janet, and share our lung cancer journeys. She is so committed to education and advocacy!

On Saturday, I had the privilege of joining Chris Draft and Linnea Duff at the Boston College football game. Chris invited me and Linnea to be part of his Survivor at every stadium campaign, so we met for breakfast, and had field passes to mingle on the field at Alumni Stadium. Chris was an amazing host, and inspired me with his vision for making lung cancer personal by bringing survivors to the forefront. He is truly “all about relationships”. Linnea’s “purpose in recounting her experiences is two-fold:  to offer hope and to provide a window into the life of someone living with terminal lung cancer.” And it turns out that Linnea and I have so many things in common in our cancer journey.  We both had surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital performed by Dr. Doug Mathisen (both lower left lobe), her oncologist is Dr. Alice Shaw (whom I know because NFCR supports her research), and we are both friends with Anne Deconinck, Executive Director at the Koch Institute at MIT. I truly enjoyed spending the day with Chris and Linnea!
Finally, on Sunday night I had dinner with Brenda Frese, head women’s basketball coach at the University of Maryland, her husband Mark Thomas, and Dr. Curt Civin and his wife Nancy. Curt is an accomplished cancer researcher at the University of Maryland, and NFCR has supported his research for over 20 years. Brenda and Curt are both committed to cancer research, and know of my lung cancer experience. It was a beautiful night and perfect ending to a great weekend. It was also November 1st, so it marked the beginning of lung cancer awareness month. It all came together kind of last minute, but I know it was meant to be. I believe that these are lifetime friendships, and for those who know me, it’s about relationships.  It was a great weekend. #LCAM15 #LCSM

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