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We Are In It Until We Finish It!

Cristina McCarter

As many of you may already know, my mother-in-law Tina has been battling lung cancer since her initial diagnosis in Fall of 2010. Her initial diagnosis was a scary one, at stage 4, but then was re-evaluated and dropped down to level 3B. Any diagnosis is terrifying, but typically when the prognosis is that aggressive, many people don't think they have a chance. So many emotions surface not only for the patient, but for their loved ones as well. Grief, panic, hysteria, fear - all these emotions and more can cloud one's vision and create anxiety and overload. "What do I/we do?"

I did not know Tina when she was first diagnosed, but my husband Ryan has shared with me how it was for him. I know it was very similar to my grandma's first diagnosis back in 1998, and when my grandfather was also diagnosed in 2000. The news hit me like a tidal wave. I couldn't help but feel terrified and the first thought that crossed my mind was losing them, and how much time I had left to spend with them. I was a wreck. Sadly I did lose my grandfather in 2005, but I am so fortunate to have my beautiful grandmother still here, battling three types of cancer (including lung cancer) for almost 20 years now.

The point I am trying to make is that it is so common for us all to think the worst when we hear the word cancer. For decades this disease has taken so many loved ones from us. This is where the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation comes in. When Tina was diagnosed, of course she was scared. But instead of giving in to her diagnosis, she fought. She looked for support, answers to all of her questions, and for the best care possible. She surrounded herself with others fighting the same fight, looking for hope and inspiration in the Living Room. She utilized the resources from her care providers and in turn became a source of inspiration for those around her. I am so impressed with what she is able to take away from the Living Room each session - I often forget she has cancer because she is truly thriving. I am so thankful for the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation and what it provides the patients and their loved ones.

Every year we participate in the Your Next Step Is The Cure as Team Bubbles and Burgers to pay homage to Tina and her two favorite things; champagne and burgers! With each clear scan, she lifts her champagne flute with joy and treats herself to a juicy burger. I am so happy to still have her in my life, that she's surviving and thriving, and that her grandson knows how fabulous she is with every snuggle she gives him. The Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation has raised over $15 million dollars that goes towards awareness, patient care, and of course funding research for a cure. Every year we, as a family, raise money to contribute to the cause that has helped Tina and others win this fight, and walk in their honor, as well as in memoriam of those who we have lost. Any contribution is appreciated as I work toward raising my goal of $500.

Thank you for taking the time to read this - I am hopeful with each donation we get that much closer to finding a cure. You can read more about the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation and what they do here:

http://www.lungcancerfoundation.org/about-us/mission/

All my love,
Cristina

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$595
raised of $500 goal
 

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1. ABAmanda Brown
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Team Bubbles and Burgers

$8,921
$5,000