This letter was sent out in a writer's workshop I participate in by the wife of a colleague and friend in the office who's been dealing for some years with Lung Cancer:
January 9, 2009
As you are aware, I have been "living" with cancer for the past 5+ years. Through this journey, I have met some wonderful people. A while back I met Mike Stevens who is directly involved with LUNGevity. He and his wife, Susan, are in charge of organizing the walk in San Diego. He encouraged me look into LUNGevity and consider forming a team for the Breath of Hope San Diego Lung Cancer Walk. So that's what I've done!
With my recent decline, I may not be able to participate in the actual walk, but I'm very excited about forming "Pamela's Pals" to help raise funds and awareness for lung cancer research. The event will be held on Sunday, March 8, 2009, with registration starting at 8:00 a.m.
You may donate directly by making your check payable to: LUNGevity Foundation, and then send it to me @:
11121 Madrigal Street
San Diego, CA 92129-1213
or, go to my Website by clicking the link at the bottom of this page where you can donate directly.
Do you know that lung cancer kills more Americans each year than breast, prostate, colorectal, and pancreatic cancers combined?
Every dollar that you contribute to the LUNGevity Foundation brings us one step closer to finding a cure for lung cancer. In fact, due to LUNGevity's unique relationship with our partner organizations that requires them to match our research funding, each dollar that LUNGevity grants will fund more than $1.25 of the most promising research at the top research facilities.
Thank you for considering participating in my goal to raise $5,000. Every step we take will bring us one step closer to finding a cure for lung cancer!
With hope and appreciation,
Pamela F. Hill
Two people close to me have died of lung cancer: my mother at the fairly advanced age of 83, and the finest teacher I ever encountered in my years at school and University, Professor L.J. (Roy) Morrissey, at 53. This death was unquestionably untimely, but was my mother's as well? People on her side of the family frequently lived into their nineties. Her favourite aunt died of a heart attack at 96, on the bus that was taking her home after she'd bought two bags of groceries at the market.
Roy never smoked, and my mother was a smoker for quite a few years but quit in her late forties (when I was still in High School). "Not soon enough" she said once in her last weeks in palliative care, but it's not generally thought that a cancer whose origin is in smoking can remain dormant in the system over decades.
The main reason for mentioning this is the widespread assumption that lung cancer is overwhelmingly a consequence of poor lifestyle choice. Actually lung cancer is often the result of pollutants in the environment that none of us can completely avoid, but breast cancer research (for example) is easier to solicit donations for because of the assumption its victims are comparatively blameless. There's another reason I think, that operates on men and women both, but a little differently on each: the lungs aren't a visible, much less a highly ornamental part of the anatomy. They're crucial to life however in a way the breasts are not, and even crucial to the health and beauty of the body in all its parts. There can hardly be a more worthy organ to support and sustain through dollars for research and treatment.