The Lung Cancer Survivor stories presented on this page are stories of courage, stories of triumph over unbelievable adversity, stories of HOPE. Many of the people highlighted in these stories had their first brush with this disease via a stage 4 lung cancer diagnosis.  Yet, through the advances in lung cancer treatments brought about by transformative lung cancer research, these lung cancer survivors continue to inspire us by living their lives in the way they want.  We are honored they have shared their stories with Lung Cancer Foundation of America.

Lung Cancer Foundation of America is working to change the public perceptions of lung cancer through education and personal stories of those impacted by this leading cause of death in cancer.  These stories bring special attention to specific health conditions associated closely with lung cancer.  Join us by submitting a story, browsing the gallery, sharing stories via social media and more.

Dr. Michael Weitz, M.D.
Santa Monica,CA

  Dr. Michael Weitz was an emergency room physician busy with his career and raising his family when his life was interrupted by the frightening diagnosis of lung cancer. Here, in his own words, is his story of HOPE.I am blessed. I have…

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Dusty Donaldson
High Point,NC

One beautiful Tuesday morning in September, the doctor said, “I am very sorry to tell you but you have lung cancer.” We were shocked. Even the doctor was shocked. That was in 2005. Little did I know how those words would change my lif…

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Virginia Purdy

My story starts early in the year of 1999. I was having trouble with my shoulder. When I was at work, I could not get things off the shelves without being in a lot of pain. I went to the doctors and they sent me to physical therapy to do exerci…

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David Sturges
New Ulm,MN

An attorney and lung cancer survivor, David was diagnosed 22 years after he quit smoking and a little over one year after he climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro. His favorable “score” for a routine heart scan in 2002 was tempered by an incidental notat…

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Donna-Lee Lista
North Wales,PA

My name is Donna-Lee Lista, I’ve been married to Ray for over 30 years and I’m mother to two daughters:  Caroline and Alexandra.  After having my yearly scan in February 2014, I am now an 8 year lung cancer survivor. I was diagnosed at…

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Donald Stranathan
Santa Rosa,CA

In September of 2006, I was doing volunteer work at a local prison and went in for an x-ray for a standard TB test; they saw a shadow on my left lung. Over the next year they did a few CT scans, and then a PET scan. The spot on my lung was not …

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Missy Petersen
Huntington Beach,CA

Missy is a 47 year-old mother of two who teaches kindergarten, has never smoked, and who had the training and the endurance to run a half-marathon. In 2009, Missy was diagnosed with Stage 4 Lung Cancer, after she had lost her voice and suffe…

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Alex Hanan
Los Angeles,CA

Alex Hanan is in his early 40s; a non-smoking, healthy young man, who exercises regularly, eats relatively well and has a great group of truly dedicated friends. In January of 2014, Alex was diagnosed with Stage 4 Lung Cancer.  It was a gre…

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Corey Wood

  I am a 23-year-old girl who is beating stage IV lung cancer. Just 2 weeks after graduating from UC Berkeley, I was walking down a street in San Francisco when I received an unexpected phone call. “Corey, you have adenocarcinoma. …

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All therapies, whether conventional or targeted, provide bridges to keep you alive for the next therapy, to get to the next bridge.
Michael Weitz, M. D., Lung Cancer Survivor