For those who didn’t know, November is lung cancer awareness month. In honor of this, I wanted to share some of the facts that surprised me most when I was first diagnosed:
- 1 in 16 people will be diagnosed with lung cancer in their lifetime. That equates to one diagnosis every 2.3 minutes.
- Lung cancer is not a self-inflicted, smokers only disease. 60% to 65% of all new lung cancer diagnoses are among people who have never smoked or are former smokers.
- Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death, taking more lives annually than colorectal, breast, and prostate cancers combined.
As mentioned in the last blog, we held our first ever fundraiser for lung cancer in honor of my birthday last month and it definitely surpassed my expectations. Thank you for everyone who donated directly or came out to the event. Our goal for the fundraiser was $2,500, and we surpassed that within just a couple weeks and were at $3,520 before the event was even held!
The event was a great success! My cousin Liem helped to design the menu. Below are a few of the amazing dishes he created. The Savage Salmon was my personal favorite.
We had a great turnout and raised $1,917 that night. What’s even better is that on the day of the event, the GO2 Foundation for Lung Cancer launched an ALK Positive Research Fund to finance critical research projects and very generous donors have agreed to match 150% of everything donated. That means the $1,917 raised from the event will equate to $4,792.50!
All in, $8,312.50 was donated in support of research for ALK rearranged lung cancer in our first year, more than tripling our initial goal! We hope this will become an annual event we can grow each year to contribute to making lung cancer a chronic and treatable disease.
I know a cure is right around the corner, but until then I hope to continue to travel the world and check some things off my bucket list. Varisara and I just got back from a parents-only trip to Costa Rica where we went ziplining, rode horses, enjoyed hot springs and a mud bath from an inactive volcano, and represented ALK positive. With views as breath-taking as we experienced sometimes it’s hard, but I always try to remember to #breathedeep because you never know when it will be your last.