This past week has been one of the best of my life! It has been enormously transformational: I will never be the same. What an honour to represent Canada, to represent lung cancer, and to help spread a little bit of the tremendous amount of hope which is available.
I come home a new person with a deeper calling. I have an even bigger love for people affected by lung cancer, a stronger passion to make things better, and an unbendable will to work hard toward that goal.
It was an honour and responsibility to represent Canada and to represent lung cancer patients at the American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting. I worked hard to make you all proud.
Twenty-three thousand people dedicated to fighting cancer gathered in Atlanta, and I wish I could have met them all! Thank you MP Catherine McKenna and your team for the Canada flag pins! I gave out almost 100 Canadian flag pins, and well over 100 business cards, telling our lung cancer story every time. I was honoured by these cancer fighters, and met brilliant leaders in the field, people who cared and listened. They are dedicated to improving outcomes for cancer patients, and research makes a difference! More research means more survivors. I thanked them for their work, and felt honoured when they thanked me for mine.
I have many stories to tell, many photo’s to post, and more video posts to come on YouTube. I have been honoured to bring hope to people affected by lung cancer and other cancers, living in Canada and around the world. It brings me tremendous joy to serve as a channel of hope for the lung cancer community. #ChooseHope! … and keep your eyes open for more
I’m so grateful for all I’ve been privileged to experience this past week. It was an honour to represent, and I will keep working hard for people affected by lung cancer.
I am honoured to travel to Toronto next week to represent Ontario lung cancer patients as I tell my story to MPP’s at Queen’s Park. If you live in Ontario, it would mean a lot if you would take a few moments to call or email your MPP’s office to ask if she or he will be attending the Lung Cancer Patients – Right2Survive Legislative Reception breakfast on Wednesday February 20 at Queen’s Park (presented by Canadian Cancer Survivor Network, in partnership with Lung Cancer Canada).
It’s not hard to do! Every time I’ve contacted a politician’s office, a very kind person has been very helpful. It only takes a moment or two.
While you’ve got their attention, please also mention that lung cancer is Ontario’s number one cancer killer (Number 1 in the world), but outcomes lag behind all other major cancers. But more than just hearing statistics, people of influence need to meet real people and hear real stories.
Please tell your MPP about me. I’m representing Ontarians affected by lung cancer. Please tell your MPP that I’ll be there and I’d love to meet them.
Here’s the paragraph I wrote for the “leave-behind”, the materials that are left for the elected officials to look at after we’ve left:
We were shocked by my lung cancer diagnosis when our kids were only 6, 10 and 12, because we thought all my healthy choices would protect me from getting it. We are incredibly grateful for the five years which brand new lung cancer treatments have extended my life, starting with an investigational drug in a clinical trial. I can’t tell you how much it means that I’m alive to see my oldest accepted into Electrical Engineering at both Carleton and University of Ottawa. I hope I’ll live long enough for more milestones and memories.
I’ve got more meetings with influential people on the calendar, so I decided to have new cards made.
I paid extra to have our picture on them because I want to emphasize that we are real people, not just numbers. This picture of my family, prior to my diagnosis will help tell our story and communicate the value of lung cancer research to people of influence. My kids don’t just have pictures of their mom. My kids have a Mom who is alive, who loves them and makes a difference in their lives! I have been here to hug them at night and help them navigate life during these significant years, and I am grateful! A mom’s yearning is to be there for her kids. As lung cancer research improves, more of us will be here for our family and friends. We’ll live longer and healthier.
We don’t look the same now: we’ve changed these five years. New lung cancer research (and the grace of God!) has allowed me to continue to be in the picture. I get to see my oldest get accepted into Electrical Engineering programs everywhere he applied! I get to see my middle child play more musical instruments, and play them better and better as he keeps practicing and practicing! I get to see my youngest be the oldest kid in her school, and face some of the challenges 12yo’s encounter. I am so thankful … and I hope I’ll get to be there for many many more milestones and memories!
I’m going to Queen’s Park next week to represent lung cancer patients by telling my story! What a difference this gift of five years has made for our family! Lung Cancer patients need more money for more research for better outcomes for more survivors and better survivorship!
Will you stand with me, with us?
Please ask your MPP to meet me at the #Right2Survive breakfast on Wednesday February 20. (and if you did, please tell me how it went!)