Back in February while I was wallowing in self-pity about Molly’s diagnosis I met a group of patients and caregivers similar to us. They were all young, non-smokers, educated and had small children. This unique group became their own support group, and this is how I met Kelly. Kelly’s story made me realize how lucky Molly & I were and helped me come out of my pool of self-pity.
Although I have never met Kelly in person, we became good friends through social media. Kelly has been battling Lung Cancer since 2012. She has a rare mutation which no targeted therapies have been developed for yet. This means she had to go the traditional rout which was chemotherapy. Kelly’s journey has been a very difficult one, at one point she spent a week in the hospital for a collapsed lung and internal bleeding. The ultimate devastation came five months after her diagnosis when she and her husband decided to split up. Suddenly Kelly had become the primary caregiver for her two small boys Carson & Cooper.
Kelly being a picture of grace continued her treatment with help of her friends and family. Unfortunately her tumors consistently built resistance to various chemotherapy so after initial response they would continue to grow. Big break came when Kelly was accepted into a clinical trial at Memorial Sloan-Kettering in NYC. The trial required her to take an hour flight into NYC every week for treatment. The good news was that within weeks of this trial not only her tumors did what it had never done before, shrink. This also meant that she could stay on the trial.
Although this was a great news for her and her loved ones, the treatment required her to hire a nanny for her sons while she traveled to NYC. This proud mom was forced to set up an online fund raiser to help with her sons’ care. People always ask us how they can help, and my answer is to please donate to lung cancer charities. Unlike breast cancer, there are not many charities set up to help women with LC. Ironically LC is the number one cancer killer in women. This is a chance to make a direct difference in a young mom’s life, and does not require you to dump precious water on your head. So please donate.
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