Survivors

 

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.



Linnea Olson
Lowell,MA

Linnea knew something was wrong. She just couldn’t get anyone to believe her. It was 2001, and she didn’t feel good. Linnea felt weak, sick, had pronounced shortness of breath, and a chronic cough. As a non-smoker, lung cancer was n…

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Lysa Buonanno
Las Vegas,NV

Lysa Buonanno had returned to college and had just graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree when back pain that had been bothering her for months forced her into the emergency clinic. She asked to look at the Xrays of her lungs and noticed t…

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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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Ivy Elkins
Buffalo Grove,IL

In December 2013, Ivy Elkins was diagnosed at age 47 with EGFR positive stage 4 lung cancer that had metastasized to her bones and brain. She has been treated successfully with targeted therapy medications since her diagnosis, thus allowing her…

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Janet Freeman-Daily
Seattle,WA

Janet Freeman-Daily, MS, ENG, is a writer, science geek, and lung cancer patient/activist who was diagnosed with advanced lung cancer in May 2011. Despite two different combinations of chemotherapy and radiation, her cancer became metastatic. …

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Laura Greco
Albany,NY

Laura Greco: Lawyer, mother and lung cancer survivor: Laura Greco is determined to fight cancer with everything she’s got, to be here for her children and husband. She has Stage 4 cancer following an initial diagnosis of Stage 3A ALK positiv…

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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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Barbara Marder
Annapolis,MD

To look at her, 74-year-old Barbara Marder is the picture of health. She plays golf, loves to swim, snorkel, and kayak. She has traveled extensively to Africa, South America, China, Japan and Spain. Closer to home, she regularly visits national…

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Dave Miller
,PA

Dave Miller, a Pennsylvania Train Master — essentially the police chief for the railroad — assumed his fatigue and weight loss were due to the stresses of work. When Dave’s fatigue persisted and it became difficult to breathe, he made …

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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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Virginia Purdy
Benicia,CA

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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Juanita Segura
East Chicago,IN

Juanita Segura calls herself “a CrossFit diva.” The fit and active 47-year-old is a certified trainer and was in the process of opening her own CrossFit studio when she was diagnosed with lung cancer in November, 2014. The diagnosis was…

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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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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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Millie Torchia
North Merrick,NY

If you have lungs, you can get lung cancer Thursday, June 22, 2017 was a lovely, sunny afternoon. I wasn’t expecting anything out of the ordinary when my doctor called with the results of tests for a persistent cough I’d had for weeks. At …

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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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Corey Wood
Yorba LInda,California

  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