Monday November 25th 2013, 49ers were playing Monday Night Football and everyone was excited since Thanksgiving was just around the corner. I was however at the Stanford Hospital clutching my wife’s tiny purse pacing back and forth nervously. I think 49ers were winning maybe this was a good omen, may be the surgeon would walk out and tell me my wife’s biopsy did not show malignant cancer cells. It’s the night I will never forget.
The phone call from Molly two Fridays ago echoed in my head, the call that changed our lives. I can remember it like it was last night. Molly crying, “Arash……my doctor called, there is a spot on my lung and she think it’s serious”. This was the conversation that had us in the hospital instead of the comfort of our couch watching grown men crush each other. Where was that damn surgeon?
I had stupidly sent my friends home that night and was alone at the hospital. I didn’t think my 39-year-old non-smoker wife would have lung cancer so why would I need them? Man that was a dumb idea. When the surgeon finally came out, I could read it in his face that this Thanksgiving was going to suck!
First question came into my mind was, how the hell my 39-year-old non-smoker wife could have Lung Cancer? Wasn’t this the disease 80-year-old chain smokers got? As weeks passed, I slowly met them…Jill, Lisa, Emily, Natalie, Laura, Jeff, Diane, Abigail, Kelly, Tori, Samantha, Shermaine, Paul, Andrea, Jessica…. All young, all with stage 4 lung cancer.
Up until Molly was diagnosed like everybody else I thought breast, leukemia & testicular cancer were what young people got. The reality is that in US, Lung cancer will kill twice as many women per year as breast cancer. In matter of fact lung cancer will kill 160,000 Americans this year alone! You would think with these numbers there would have been studies done long time ago to figure out why so many young people are getting lung cancer. After all, they had done it for breast cancer and leukemia. But, NOPE, NICHT, NEJ….. Not for America’s number one cancer killer, well at least not until now.
Recently Addario Lung Cancer Medical Institute started a study called Genomics of Young Lung Cancer Study. Their goal is to understand why lung cancer occurs in young people and to develop treatments for it. My wife Molly, Lisa, Tori, Natalie and Emily are all participating, but the study needs more people. They are desperately looking for lung cancer patients who have been diagnosed before the age of 40. So please if you fit this category click on the link below and sign up. Also share it with somebody you feel could be part of the study. This is your chance to be part of history.
At the end I will leave you with a short video about the Young Lung study. These are real patients with lung cancer, one of them happens to be my wife Molly.