I want to grow old and experience all of the things that come with that. I look forward to the wrinkles, the pain, and the gray hair and they are accompanied with the hugs of my future grandchildren, the late night calls for advice from my children, the laughter of my friends and family, and the everyday breath of fresh air. However, all of these realities for most people are now in jeopardy for me.
I am fighting for my life, literally. Will you help me fight?
This summer, a small lump on my shoulder drastically changed my perspective on life. That small, seemingly insignificant pea sized lump led to a diagnosis of Stage IV lung cancer.
As a non-smoker leading a healthy and active lifestyle without any pertinent symptoms, I never imagined I would receive this life altering diagnosis.
At first, they told me I had less than 2 years to live. Not knowing how to absorb that news, Trish and I went and bought twizzlers. It was unreal.
Miraculously, genetic testing diagnosed me with a rare type of lung cancer marked by the genetic mutation called ALK. ALK+ is found in about 4% of lung cancers, particularly in nonsmokers and younger people. Targeted therapy treatments enable ALK patients to beat the two year life expectancy, but the fight is far from over against ALK positive cancer. The duration of my life is entirely dependent on the development of new treatments against the indefinite evolution of the cancer against the current arsenal of therapies.
This is my fight. In order to extend my own life, I have to survive until new treatment therapies are developed to fight ALK+ cancer. The most effective thing I can do is support the research and initiatives that bring these drugs closer to reality. This is my fight, but I need your help.
Will you help me and thousands of others with ALK+ Lung Cancer live to see old age?
Please join me in my efforts to help ALK patients influence the direction of research, advocacy, and awareness that will, one day, save their lives. I appreciate your support.