AJ Patel was diagnosed in 2013 with stage 4 metastatic lung cancer. “When I received my stage 4 metastatic cancer result, I didn’t fully understand biomarker testing,” explained A.J. His research spurred further discussions with his doctor about biomarker testing and possible treatments.
Ask anyone who has battled lung cancer and they will tell you the experience changed their life. No matter the circumstances, the avalanche of tests, treatments, research, and planning can leave patients feeling hopeless. AJ Patel, just 47 when diagnosed, is no exception. Through a series of “divine experiences,” AJ says he now lives a fuller, happier, and more hope-filled life than he ever thought possible.
“The life I had was all about possessions, I was easily hurt and looking for a pat on the back. I was constantly looking for physical things that would fulfill me. Since my diagnosis, I learned so much about myself and how I, like my divinities, can enrich someone else’s life.”
AJ has participated in several Hope With Answers: Living With Lung Cancer podcast episodes:
AJ doesn’t deny his struggles with debilitating fear, depression, and anxiety. He will tell you that, unequivocally, he has evolved as a person and truly considers his lung cancer diagnosis to have been a gift.
I work with patients to be better advocates for themselves. I help them by sharing my own experience and knowledge and empower them to push forward by asking questions and demanding better of their care team– AJ Patel
Recently, AJ has been advocating for biomarker testing to be the standard of care when people are diagnosed with lung cancer. He advocated for the governor of California to pass a bill that would eliminate certain reimbursement hurdles. This bill, expanding access to comprehensive biomarker testing for late-stage cancer patients, was signed into law on October 6, 2021. The law is a small but important step towards making sure all Californians have access to this kind of care.