Lung Cancer Survivors Stories

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.

Donald Stranathan

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

Ivy Elkins

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

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

Barbara Marder

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

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

Linnea Olson

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

Dusty Donaldson

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

Lysa Buonanno

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

Dr. Michael Weitz, M.D.

I am blessed. I have an incredible wife and 3 wonderful boys. I’m a doctor and practice emergency medicine. But in the blink of an eye, our world was turned upside down when I was diagnosed with advanced lung

Janet Freeman-Daily

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. Thanks to information obtained

Laura Greco

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

Donna-Lee Lista

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

David Sturges

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

Missy Petersen

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

Living With Lung Cancer

Juanita Segura is a lung cancer survivor, mother, grandmother and the owner of a CrossFit Box. She credits research for allowing her to enjoy the continued blessings of life.

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LIFE STORIES that show research's impact

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Hope With Answers Video Series

Where patients consult with leading lung cancer doctors in an on-demand video series you can watch anytime, anywhere.


What treatments are available besides chemotherapy and radiation?

Learn more about targeted therapy and immunotherapy.


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