On Oct. 27, 2015, Gina was diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer even though she had no risk factors. She ate healthy. She was a runner, mother of 2 active boys, and worked as a postop nurse and as the Clinical Director at a local non-profit.
That fall she had a non-productive cough that would not go away, and she started losing weight. Those were the only symptoms she had. She knew something was wrong, but she never expected lung cancer. At 38 years old, she was at the peak of her physical health and lung cancer was the last thing on her mind.
She asked for a chest x-ray that lead to a CT scan and eventually was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. There was so much she didn’t know. She didn’t know that Lung Cancer is the #1 cancer killer of men and women. She didn’t know that Lung Cancer is one of the least funded cancers because of the stigma that “Lung Cancer is a smoker’s disease”.
For years people have concentrated on smoking cessation, so the research for those who have lung cancer has suffered. She didn’t know that anyone with lungs can get lung cancer. There are lots of people who have never smoked and have lung cancer. There are lots of people who smoked and feel as though they deserved to get lung cancer and therefore, don’t deserve treatment. No one deserves to get lung cancer. No one. The 5 year survival rate for lung cancer is one of the lowest of all cancers. Gina believes we can change this. She believes that we are so closer to finding a cure than we ever have been. Gina needs your help to spread the word that the #1 cancer killer needs help with funding.
Only 6% of federal government dollars spent on cancer research are spent on lung cancer research. Breast Cancer awareness month has done such a great job of creating awareness. Pink is everywhere. Such amazing strides have led to making breast cancer a very survivable disease. We are hoping with some awareness that we can do the same for lung cancer.
Cancer has taught Gina so much. “With this new awareness, I realize that I’m not afraid to die, but I’m also not afraid to truly live!”
Join Gina on this journey by supporting Links for Lungs Memphis. All proceeds from the event will be donated equally to Baptist Cancer Center and ALK Positive research and advocacy. We know that this will help bring us one step closer to ridding the world of this deadly disease.