It’s been more than two weeks now but I’m still high on Lungevity’s National HOPE Summit. Some clever person in attendance coined the hashtag #thisishope which absolutely sums up what I have come to view as one big family reunion. This year we numbered about 300 survivors and caretakers. All with a common goal; doing something about lung cancer.
Striking this year were the number of young people in attendance—and of course the older I get, the greater the number of survivors who I look at and think, ‘you could be my child’. Absolutely unacceptable and something that really gets my panties in a twist. However, what these young survivors and their caretakers bring to advocacy is immeasurable passion, energy and optimism. I am also always incredibly moved by those advocates who have lost either a family member (sadly, sometimes a child) or a close friend to lung cancer but continue to fight for not only their lost loved one but all of us with this disease. Thank you.
It is never a good time to have lung cancer but with FDA approval of eleven different drugs for lung cancer since 2006, it is at least a time of increasing therapeutic options. And look at that picture of all the people who have lived for ten years past diagnosis (Diane and myself included)—again, hugely encouraging.
And that first photo? Dolio, Bruno, Diane and I are all lung cancer patients/advocates (although you wouldn’t guess the patient part looking at the picture, and that is why I love it so). The four of us went out to dinner the final evening of HOPE summit. Our reservation had been mistakenly made for the following night and the only available table was outside and it was pretty darn chilly. Diane played the C card and upon hearing that we were all living with lung cancer, the manager was overcome. His mom had just been diagnosed with advanced breast cancer, and our smiling faces made him feel infinitely more hopeful. He ushered us over to perhaps the best seat in the house and then brought us this ridiculous (but oh so fun) tropical drink. It was a lovely and somewhat surreal ending to a fabulous weekend of learning/bonding. Thank you Lungevity and see you next year!
My mom passed away this past October after a short and very brave fight against lung cancer. I am so glad that so much research is being done and that there are so many people that can have a little longer with their loved ones.
Thanks linnea for continuing this blog and getting the word out there for many more people.
Many blessings to you.
I am sorry to hear about your mom. Although real progress is being made we have done little to budge the overall survival rate and that needs to change. Hugs to you.
Hi Linnea! I love receiving your blogs. Thank you for giving so much of your life to fight for lung cancer! I’m a lucky one with no reassurance in 8 years. I understand I have an obligation to give back in the fight for us. I have done this for for 6 years and will continue for the rest of my life. Also, a huge thank you to all your friends who also take their time to give back. Linda
Hi Linda—eight is great! Happy to hear that you are an advocate–thank you. We are all in this together!
The HOPE Summit was an incredible experience for me and for my husband. I’m already working on the family budget to make sure that we can go back next year if my health permits. It was great to be able to meet you.
It was incredible Anita and I loved meeting you. Going again next year is a good plan!
My wife just passed one year on crizotonib for ALK positive stage IV CA, now on entrectinib trial through University of Colorado. Thanks for your information and hope to join the advocacy gathering next year.
Ted, best of luck to your wife on the trial and I look forward to meeting you both at the next Hope Summit.
I just love that picture of the four of you sitting at the best table in the house! I’d like to be able to buy you a big, silly drink right this minute. Fight on, dear friend, and take time out for big-ass drinks with umbrellas in them. xoxo
And I would so love to be sipping a big-ass drink next to you, my friend.