Your email address has been verified.
In 2012, Rebecca (aka Becky, hence our team name) was a seemingly healthy 46-year-old. She had run several marathons over the years and was still running several days a week. She never smoked but had been in and out of the doctor’s office for more than a year trying to rid herself of a persistent cough. One week after Rebecca ran the 2012 Portland Marathon, an X-ray found a 12 centimeter tumor in the middle of her left lung. The diagnosis: Non Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC) with EGFR mutation.
As she let the news trickle out to family and friends, everyone was in disbelief. No one expects a healthy runner in her mid-forties to be diagnosed with a “smoker’s disease.” That stigma still prevails and leads to continued misconceptions and misdiagnoses. This type of cancer often does not receive the same funding that other cancers do; the research is not as robust and the resources are harder to find. Recognizing that disconnect, Rebecca ran the New York City Marathon in 2015 (with only one lung!) to raise awareness and funds for the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation (BJALCF). An organization she felt really understood the diagnosis, the stigma and the journey.
To honor and continue her quest in raising awareness for NSCLC, which claims the lives of more women each year than breast, ovarian and cervical cancers combined, a group of Rebecca’s family and friends will be participating in the Napa Valley Half Marathon/5K event on March 3, 2019. The Napa Valley Marathon has a special connection; it was Rebecca’s first marathon with Team In Training in 2005.
Please help support the BJALCF in their relentless ongoing mission to increase the survival of lung cancer patients worldwide through early detection, awareness and funding for research by giving as generously as you can. We have set a team goal of $25,000 but hope to surpass that amount.
Rebecca eventually came to terms that she was “living with cancer” and made the best of it. She said that shift in her thinking provided more space for actually living, not always fighting against it. That was the ethos of our dear Rebecca/Becky. Always living life to the fullest and caring deeply for those who surrounded her. She was smart, fun and a ray of sunshine. We miss her terribly.
“We have the ability to dig deep and make the best out of what we do have.”
— Rebecca Rees Cavagnari