by April DeFalco-Rempfer
I don’t have lung cancer, but one lung cancer diagnosis changed my entire life.
No one in my family ever imagined that my father, Bill Rempfer, would be diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer at the age of 66. He showed no symptoms of lung cancer, and had quit smoking almost 20 years prior to his diagnosis. He was an active, healthy man who was physically fit and worked out daily. As with many people with lung cancer, the diagnosis came in its terminal stage. My father fought a hard battle with lung cancer, enduring 12 rounds of chemotherapy, 30 rounds of radiation, and 2 rounds of immunotherapy. Unfortunately, nothing worked.
My father’s death was devastating to my family, but my siblings and I have decided to use this tragedy as a way to raise awareness of lung cancer and the need for increased research funding. In the spring of 2017, my family and I unveiled special LCFA-branded trucks that we use in our family towing business. We hope that by bringing attention to Lung Cancer Foundation of America’s mission of increased research funding, we can honor our dad’s legacy by hopefully sparing another family from the same experience.
We know that more research can prevent lung cancer deaths. Lung cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States and it accounts for more deaths than any other cancer. It is also the least funded federally in terms of research and treatment!
My hope and prayer is that no one has to endure and suffer the pain of this disease. Anyone can help make a difference, whether by raising funds or volunteering, ensuring no more families have to go through the pain of a loved one’s diagnosis of lung cancer.
This Tuesday, I encourage everyone to make a difference by donating to Lung Cancer Foundation of America to support more lung cancer research. Giving back in this way could mean the world to one patient, one family, and one life.