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A Huge Heart for Patients With Lung Cancer

Lung Cancer Heroes®CURE® Lung Cancer Heroes® 2020 Essay Book
Volume 1

A patient with small cell lung cancer nominates writes about the woman who connected her to others with the same diagnosis.

I'm nominating Katie Brown as my hero and, I’m sure, the hero for many lung cancer survivors. I was diagnosed on December 29, 2017, with small cell lung cancer. I didn’t have a clue about cancer, and never had anyone in my family or close to me with cancer. I was about to find out that my life would never be the same. After my chemotherapy and radiation, I was looking for somewhere to join a group of survivors. I had a strange story; after my third chemotherapy round, I was in remission, but I had to go through radiation to my brain and my lungs. That left me totally lost. I was so sad. Nobody had a similar story in any group of patients with small cell lung cancer.

Katie Brown

Katie Brown.

That’s where my hero, my angel, came in. One night, searching for a meaning to my life, I came upon LUNGevity. I started reading about the foundation, and right before my eyes, I’m reading about a summit in Washington, D.C., in April 2019. The deadline for a grant was in two days. I tried so hard to sign up that night, but for some strange reason, the application would not go through. I cried because the brain radiation affected my thinking and any little task at that time was hard for me.

I waited for the morning to call. It was Katie who answered. I broke down, told her my story and that I would love to be around people like me, the new me. Her compassion was amazing. I knew from her voice that she cared. It was like magic. I found a person who understood what I had gone through. She told me that she would help me with the application and that she would get back to me. Two days later, she informed me I was going to Washington, D.C. I was so excited. I had something to look forward to. It was a miracle I was going to meet others like me. She changed my life at that moment. I started eating and feeling better about myself. I started to read everything about LUNGevity and about Katie. I had not been so happy in a long time. She made it possible for me, and I’m forever grateful. Only one person from all the survivors there had survived small cell lung cancer, but in her charismatic way, Katie made sure I felt at home.

Mari Casanova

Mari Casanova.

I came back fearless because one person changed my life. I got my confidence back. She did that for me. I’m humble and grateful she came into my life.

I realized she was just that amazing. Her heart is huge. She’s just an honorable human being. She sends me all types of things to read and is always checking up. I adore Katie. She was meant to be a part of LUNGevity.

She is truly a kind, dedicated, unselfish, beautiful — inside and out — young lady. I’m sure many of us feel the same way. She goes above and beyond. That type of love for what she does makes her a hero. You would never know her trials, as she’s so busy saving and caring for everyone else. Katie Brown is my angel, my hero. She deserves this award. LUNGevity has a jewel of a lady as their vice president, and she stands by her work.

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