Life should take your breath away. Not lung cancer! Whether you have walked a marathon to fundraise for cancer research, participated in a clinical trial, or are undergoing your umpteenth treatment, the lung cancer community is full of positive people whose determination to fight cancer knows no bounds.
Read the stories of people who persevere with cancer every day with the way that they live. We hope their photos and stories inspire you to do the same.
I am surviving with lung cancer because…
I am survivng with lung cancer... because of targeted therapies.
I was diagnosed in October 2016 with ALK Positive stage IV lung cancer and my only symptom was a cough. I have never smoked and was fit and healthy before diagnosis. I am proud to say I just completed a triathlon!
I am survivng with lung cancer... because I have two sweet kids who need me!
I was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer almost nine years ago when I was 33 weeks pregnant with my second child, Brady. I have had multiple biopsies, been on two targeted therapy drugs, chemo, and radiation, but I remain hopeful and positive. Every day that I get to spend with my kids, husband and family is a great day.
I am survivng with lung cancer... because of research, great doctors and hope.
I was diagnosed with the Non-Small Cell ALK Positive Lung Cancer in June of 2016, I continue to run and use weights at the gym. I also try to juice carrots and celery almost daily! I’m on my second targeted therapy and have had radiation… I am now stable thanks to Alectinib.
I am survivng with lung cancer... because of a dedicated caregiver, my wife Rhonda Meckstroth, genetic testing, targeted therapies, clinical trials, and research! Research Matters and I am Living Proof!
In October of 2015, a simple cough and chest X-ray changed everything! Multiple tests, scans, and three surgeries later, I was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer that had already metastasized to my lymph system and bones. I was 57, a recently retired firefighter and paramedic, a farmer, a non-smoker and initially I was given months to live.
I am a three-year ALK Positive survivor, still farming our 600 acres of soybeans and corn, all by myself, and in my fourth Harvest season since diagnosis
I still recall the day when our oncologist informed our devastated family that “I was lucky” because genetic testing confirmed that I was ALK-positive and would be eligible for targeted therapies that could extend my life expectancy. At that time, we had no idea what being ALK meant and I can assure you we did not feel “lucky” on that day. However, three years later, I am doing what I love, still farming, and making memories with my family! We are LUCKY!
I am survivng with lung cancer... because of my children, but also because of my husband, family, friends, medical team and my faith. I pray a lot!!
I have Non-Small Cell EGFR exon 19 lung cancer, since I was diagnosed. I’m an attorney and love to spend time with my family, walk my dog, hike and ski.
I was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer with brain metastasis in August 2015. I was 48 years old. My boys were 12 and 14 at the time. I have been on Afatinib, Tarceva, Tagrisso, chemotherapy which I still undergo every four weeks along w daily Tagrisso. I have also had a cyberknife treatment to the brain; three radiation treatments to the lung; and the placement and then removal of a pleural catheter for numerous pleural effusions.
I am survivng with lung cancer... because of advances in lung cancer research, my terrific oncologist Dr. Cynthia Shepherd and my wife, family and friends.
About five years ago I was diagnosed ALK Positive, stage 3B. Since that time, I have continued to be a runner, cyclist and triathlete. In 2016, at the age of 51, I raced Ironman North Carolina to raise money for lung cancer, and still race half marathons, 5Ks and other triathlons! The training (and playing) is great for me both physically and mentally – and also allows me to better handle the side effects of my meds.
I am now on Alectinib after time spent on Xalkori and Zykadia. I am especially thankful to the pharmaceutical companies that have developed these drugs. I know I am fortunate to still be alive.
For my wife, Jayne and I, our mantra through all of this is: “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” #LIVE!
I am survivng with lung cancer... because of Alectinib/Alecensa that put my cancer into a remission state within five months of treatment, a loving five-year-old son, super supportive family and friends including the [ALK Positive] Facebook group, my healers, and most importantly a consistent positive attitude and unwavering belief that a prognosis is not a diagnosis! We have more control over our self-healing than we know.
I was diagnosed in 2017 with stage IV Non-Small Cell metastatic lung cancer with the ALK Positive mutation. I was given three months to live because my cancer was discovered pretty late in the game and had spread from my lungs to my brain and spine. I recently finished the Bolder Boulder 10K!
I am a single mom diagnosed at age 42. If you have lungs, you can get lung cancer! There is a common belief that everyone who has lung cancer has smoked, and I am here to affirm that is just not true. My lung cancer healing journey has let me to a new career in holistic healing and coaching, and I love working with people who want to make positive, thoughtful changes in their lives, whether they have a health diagnosis or not.
I am survivng with lung cancer... because I am not afraid to die and I am NOT afraid to LIVE.
I was diagnosed in 2015, a runner, boot camp enthusiast, never smoker. I was stage IV positive for ALK rearrangement which made me eligible for targeted chemotherapy. This was not going to get me down. Through all of it, I was given a gift of clarity. Life is important. My life matters. Here is a short video of my story: https://youtu.be/8Zc5UElp6NU
When I was diagnosed I was working as a nurse, and I knew something was wrong when I couldn’t get rid of a cough. Doctors thought it was seasonal allergies or reflux. I was insistent on a chest X-ray which showed something was wrong. No one would see me. I went to the ER for my cough and took my X-ray report. They took me seriously and sent me to a pulmonologist who did a biopsy and the rest is history. The tumor had metastasized to my brain. We sent the tissue for biomarker testing. I had brain surgery, radiation, and removed my upper leg lobe of my lung.
Today I still live my life to the fullest. Life is precious.
I am survivng with lung cancer... because of the support of my devoted husband and sons, great doctors, and golf!
I was diagnosed five years ago and had a lobectomy, followed by a nasty chemo regime. But I am here to write about it and continue to improve my golf game!
My lung cancer was found because I slipped and fell on my front steps and broke a couple of ribs. It was in that X-ray that a spot on my lung was observed! We call it “the divine fall” in my family. I was diagnosed with stage III EGFR, and am beyond grateful to be a survivor and feel so good at my five-year cancerversary!
I am survivng with lung cancer... because of cancer research dollars and those that have gone before me.
I am thriving because of my family, friends, community, ALK Positive group, and Alectinib. I am happy to be alive and living life to the fullest.
I am a 43-year-old mother of two, former airline pilot, and a 13-month survivor with stage IV NSCLC Adenocarcinoma ALK mutation.
I am survivng with lung cancer... because of my family. I was diagnosed in 2015 with ROS1.
The State of Washington ruled that my lung cancer was caused by my job as a firefighter. Today I continue to snowboard, dirt bike, mountain bike, hike, and just learned to wake surf! I am a father, extreme sports athlete, firefighter… and a lung cancer survivor. When I found out I had lung cancer, through the Addario Lung Cancer Foundation, I found new hope by testing positive for a genetic mutation which has a corresponding targeted therapy. My community has rallied around me and my mantra, “Hold Fast”.
I am survivng with lung cancer... because of stereotactic radiation.
In 2005 I was diagnosed with bronchioloalveolar carcinoma (BAC) and had my lower lobe and part of my upper right lobes removed. 11 years later, with a new malignant nodule, the only surgical option was to remove the rest of my right lung. Thankfully I was a candidate for stereotactic radiation and my docs were able to save my right lung.
Recently I rode my bike 260 miles in 3.5 days and raised $10,100.00 for lung cancer. I cycle 60-80 miles a week and do fitness classes or weight train five times a week.
I believe if I had been diagnosed for the second time just five years earlier, stereotactic radiation would not have been an option and I would have lost my lung. Although I still have a half dozen ground glass lesions throughout both lungs, my lungs are currently stable. :). Yay me!
In addition to my diagnosis, both my mother and my uncle died from lung cancer and two of my mother’s siblings are lung cancer survivors so there are five of us in my family with a lung cancer history.
I am survivng with lung cancer... because of modern research and the love and support of my family. I was diagnosed with Non-Small Cell ALK Positive stage IV Lung Cancer because of a blood clot in my right lung.
I was riding my racer bike a 100 kilometers and having difficulty breathing. After being very insistent about getting a scan, because I live in Denmark, I was able to get a diagnosis and a treatment plan within seven days.
Now thanks to a clinical trial for Brigatinib, I get MR imaging and CT scans every second month and am the closest to “no evidence of disease” (NED) that I can get.
I love my life and am so much more than my diagnosis. I am Jeanette, a loving wife and mother, successful businesswoman, friend who loves good food, traveling, laughing, adventure and am too busy making memories with my family.
I want to be an inspiration for my son have more time with him and to see him grow up. Thanks to research and TKI I have that opportunity.
I am survivng with lung cancer... because of my family and friends’ support, the hard work of my medical network, and God’s grace that keeps me focused on the beautiful things in life.
I have Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer with EGFR Exon 20 mutation. Since my diagnosis, we’ve traveled to Australia, Austria, Cambodia, Guam, Italy, Korea, Maldives and Switzerland and planning many more adventures while I start my second line of treatment on Poziotinib in Seoul.
I am a Texan and was living in China with my two teenage daughters when I was diagnosed. MD Anderson became our second home. After months of treatments, I was able to go back to work in China while on Pemetrexed maintenance. I alternated treatments between China and MD Anderson, while my daughters and I continued our world travels.
I am survivng with lung cancer... because of my participation in a clinical trial which includes Afatinib + Cetuximab, and because of all the prayers from my friends and family.
I was diagnosed 2017 with stage IV Non Small Cell Adenocarcinoma EGFR positive. After three months on a trial with two target therapies, I had a complete response and started slowly training for my second indoor triathlon!
I was training for my first Indoor Triathlon when I came down with a cough, then shortness of breath, then pain in my left side. A chest x-ray showed I had pneumonia but after a month my left lung had not cleared. After a CT scan and a bronchoscopy, it was revealed that I had lung cancer. I will NOT allow cancer to stop me from living my life to the fullest!!
I am survivng with lung cancer... because of targeted cancer therapies combined with a positive attitude, a wonderfully supportive family and community and the grace of God.
I was diagnosed in 2018 with Non-Small stage IV Cell Lung Cancer, EGFR + and am being treated with Tagrisso and Avastin. My journey began with a large tumor in my left lung and inoperable tumors in my brain, spine, pelvis, sternum and adrenal gland. Fortunately, I was admitted into a drug trial and the drugs that I am taking have stabilized my disease.
The first and hardest step was actually mental – letting go of the sadness and suffering brought on by focusing on what I had lost and replacing it with being grateful for all that I still had that cancer could not take from me: my family and friends, my smile and positive attitude.
I am a mother of five, business owner, and triathlete. I just fulfilled my dream of competing in the Hawaii IRONMAN World Championships in Kona. The race also marked the completion of my 50th state marathon – one in every state in the United States. I have so much to be grateful for and will to continue to pursue my dreams despite my diagnosis. I am intent on turning what many consider a “terminal” diagnosis into a chronic disease.
I am survivng with lung cancer... because of research, my family and my self-advocacy!
I was diagnosed in 2014 with ROS1+ Lung Cancer, stage IV. I was a very fit mom with two children and had no risk factors – never smoked, no family history — my diagnosis came out of the blue.
My story of a misdiagnosed nagging cough for weeks and months on end is a common one in the lung cancer world. I share the details of my two-month journey from supposedly clear lungs on my 2013 X-ray, to lung shitstorm on my 2014 CT in the hope that it might help others catch their lung cancer earlier. If I had known then what I know now, I would have pushed for a chest CT much sooner. Lung cancer does happen to people who don’t smoke. If you have an unexplained cough for more than three weeks, ask your doctor for a chest CT. It could save your life.
In 2015, I co-founded a private Facebook and patient advocacy group, ”ROS1 Positive (ROS1+) Cancer.” We named ourselves “The ROS1ders.”
I have continued to be active since my diagnosis. I bike regularly and try to include yoga, meditation and strength training to keep my body and mind as healthy as possible. What I really appreciate is just being able to do the normal stuff I used to take for granted, like cooking a good meal, helping my kids with a project, and watching a movie with my family.
I am survivng with lung cancer... because of research developments.
I was diagnosed in 2015 with stage IV NSCLC EGFR+ with METS to both lungs and spine. My treatments have been targeted therapies and radiation. I have run or walked a 5K trail race every year since diagnosis.
In Dec 2017 I suffered a hemorrhagic stroke due to a rare brain disease unrelated to lung cancer. My lung cancer treatments have kept me strong and otherwise healthy enough to bounce back from the stroke and the left side of my body being paralyzed.
My spare time is focused on lung cancer advocacy, including sharing my lung cancer story with members of Congress. I also participate in activities like in an exercise challenge inspired by a lung cancer patient. Outside of lung cancer, I like to sew my own vintage (40s and 50s) style clothes.
I am survivng with lung cancer... because of the approval of Crizotinib as first-line therapy in Belgium. Support of my family and close friends makes me able to cope with the impact of the disease.
When I was diagnosed at age 32 with stage IV ROS1+ lung adenocarcinoma in both lungs, I was physically active, never smoked, and ‘only’ had a cough for a few months
I am married with two small children and am glad to help in the cause of breaking the stigma of lung cancer!
After a winter of coughing together with the kids, theirs finally cleared up, while mine persisted. I had an X-ray showing pneumonia, followed by three rounds of antibiotics. I was finally referred to a pneumologist for a CT scan. Then things moved fast, after two biopsies and a few scans. I am on Crizotinib, and doing well, even though it still feels pretty surreal.
I am survivng with lung cancer... because of groundbreaking lung cancer research for EGFR positive patients.
I was diagnosed in 2013 with stage IV, EGFR positive lung cancer that had spread to my bones and brain. Today I am on Tagrisso, feel great and lead a normal, active life with my husband and two teenage boys. Since my diagnosis, I have been very involved in lung cancer advocacy work.
Prior, I had some neck pain and problems straightening my elbow. After physical therapy, an MRI revealed a mass that had eaten away at the bone in my elbow. A biopsy of the mass came back as cancerous and the primary source of cancer was traced back to my lungs.
I had a fantastic response to my first targeted therapy of Gilotrif, which was FDA approved shortly before I started on it — brain METS disappeared, bone METS healed, lung tumor and nodules shrank. I stayed on Gilotrif for three years before I had some progression in my lungs that a biopsy showed was driven by a secondary EGFR mutation, T790M. I went on another targeted therapy, Tagrisso, that had just been FDA approved a few months earlier and my remaining lung tumor shrunk by 50%. As of this November, I will have been on Tagrisso for two years.
I am survivng with lung cancer... because as a mother to three, there is no other option.
I have been surviving stage four lung cancer for almost fourteen years. Last fall I visited Peru with A Fresh Chapter. My buddy Scott, who is also surviving cancer but in remission, was kind enough to hike to the summit of Machu Picchu with me.
I reached the summit even though I am missing the lower lobe of my left lung and in active treatment – currently enrolled in my third phase I clinical trial. My love for life is fierce as is my approach – I always think possible rather than probable.
I am survivng with lung cancer... because of personalized medical treatment I am receiving.
I am grateful to my medical support team and my friends and family who all provide positive support and care.
I am still alive despite metastatic lung cancer as a result of biomarker testing – my medication has worked extremely well for almost two and a half years. I am pain-free, able to do more than most people my age, including and hiking, biking, running, swimming, and weights at the gym.
All newly diagnosed lung cancer patients should receive biomarker testing at initial biopsy to ensure each individual gets the treatment with the best chance of success.
I was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer in 2016 after experiencing a few months of coughing and a month of severe lower back pain caused by the cancer. I was a fit active healthy, recently retired dentist that NEVER got sick and never smoked, and drank very little alcohol.
My mantra now is TREASURE EVERY DAY!!
I am survivng with lung cancer... because I am still laughing every day and doing the most I can with a bummer of a situation!
My husband, son, stepsons and parents have been incredible and I am ever thankful for a beautiful batch of friends.
I had a cough on and off for six months, assuming it was allergies. I have never smoked. After two biopsies, I was diagnosed ALK positive in 2016 (so thankful for my pulmonologist and oncologist for pushing for a second test). I started on Crizotinib and switched to Alectinib after a year.
I am survivng with lung cancer... because of decades of research, the drug Alectinib, and a strong support network.
I completed a 15-mile swim race two months prior to my diagnosis with stage IV Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, ALK Positive with metastases in my spine and brain. A year later, Alectinib has reduced the tumors by 80-90% and many lesions in my brain have disappeared.
I am a never smoker and life-long high-level athlete. Like so many, I was diagnosed way too late and after several misdiagnoses (asthma, pneumonia). I am a firm believer that we need to do more to find ways to test for lung cancer that do not rely on symptoms being present and can be done in a cost-effective way like we do with prostate, colon and breast cancer.
I am fortunate that Alectinib, a targeted therapy, was made available in the US just a few months before my diagnosis. Thanks to so many who have funded research over the years that got us to this point.
I am survivng with lung cancer... because of my brilliant young oncologist who utilized genetic testing back in 2007! And I have an amazing family that continues to support me every step of the way!
Despite a diagnosis of stage IV Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer in 2006, surgeries, chemotherapy, targeted therapy, recent malignant lesions, radiation therapy … I started a 5K that has raised over half a million dollars for ALCF and hope to celebrate #10 in 2019!
My lung cancer was found incidentally on a routine chest x-ray. Two months later, surgeons removed two lobes of my right lung, but my left lung was compromised. Chemotherapy failed. My doctor sent me a cryptic note: “Great news, Caren! You are positive for the Exon 21 mutation!” I had no idea what he was talking about!
He prescribed Tarceva and I still take it daily. Malignant lesions in 2015 and 2018, were treated by SBRT (Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy). I have had so many scans, I think I glow in the dark…but I’m not complaining!!!
I met Bonnie Addario and was so inspired that I started Run Amuck with the Duck 5K in Florida to raise funds and awareness for ALCF.
I am survivng with lung cancer... because of my ALK mutation.
I was diagnosed six years ago in September 2012 with stage four lung cancer (alk mutation) that spread to my brain and my spine. I’ve had brain and lung surgeries as well as several gamma knife and regular radiation. I’ve been on Alectinib for a few years. It definitely decreased the amount of tumors on my brain but recently another tumor grew on my left lung that I got radiation for last Spring. I’ve been dealing with some pain on my left arm and in armpit that my oncologist feels is nerve pain from the radiation or what’s left of the tumor hitting the nerves. I’m also having issues with my rotator cuff and lower back. I deal with a few side effects of Alectinib mostly I get very tired halfway through the day, weight gain, bloating, dizziness at times, and a bad stomach and esophagus. I’ve also been diagnosed with vascular degeneration (left hip replacement) and osteoporosis that may be from the cancer, radiation, and/or all the different medications. I’ve always dealt with anxiety and slight depression but after getting diagnosed with Cancer both conditions got a lot worse.
I’ve never been in remission but on the positive note I’m doing much better mentally thanks to a great clinical psychologist I see, as well as taking an antidepressant. My close family and friends are amazingly helpful, loving, and always at my side getting me through all the bad bumps on this crazy road. I’m so thankful for them and especially my two beautiful boys Stephen and Alex that are my heart and soul; Randy, my love; and my sweet, loving Frisco. They are my rock. I love them so much.
If you would like to have your photo and story added to this page, contact Andrea Parks at [email protected].
“You beat cancer by how you live, why you live and the manner in which you live. So live. Live. Fight like hell. And when you get too tired to fight, lay down and rest, and let somebody else fight for you.”
Margaret Duckhorndiagnosed 2005
Lisa Goldmandiagnosed 2014
Sandy Hearndiagnosed 2000
Jane Millmandiagnosed 2013
Pam Mosherdiagnosed 1997
Jacqueline Patrickdiagnosed 2005
Michael Quilicidiagnosed 2011
Janet Robisondiagnosed 2011
Sally Samuelsdiagnosed 2009
Emily Bennett Taylordiagnosed 2012
Mary Beth Wheelerdiagnosed 2005
Wells Whitneydiagnosed 1998
Francisco Guerradiagnosed 2011
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