In partnership with CURE®, Bonnie J. Addario and the GO2 Foundation for Lung Cancer will release “The Living Room: A Lung Cancer Community of Courage,” a collection of stories from patients, caregivers and survivors taking a personal approach to cancer care.
“Hope is defined as an optimistic state of mind, with the expectation of positive outcomes in respect to circumstances or an event in one’s life.”
“Hope.” That word is stenciled boldly across a wall at the GO2 Foundation, which hosts a monthly education/support group for patients and caregivers called the Living Room. And now, hope can be found in a collection of stories in the soon-to-be-released book published in partnership with CURE® and titled “The Living Room: A Lung Cancer Community of Courage.”
To launch the book, a collection of stories from patients, caregivers and survivors taking a personal approach to cancer care, Bonnie J. Addario — now a 17-year survivor and co-founder and chair of the GO2 Foundation — recounted the first Living Room event.
“The majority of those coming through the door are lung cancer survivors. Many are accompanied by family members or caregivers, while others are alone,” Addario wrote. “They’ve all come for support, but this is no ordinary support group. Our plan, starting with this first night, is to bring in the foremost opinion leaders to speak about every facet of lung cancer, from diagnosis, screening, profiling and treatment options to ongoing research and clinical trials. And our goal is to empower patients to become advocates themselves as a direct result of what they learn in the Living Room.”
The organization did just that. Since 2008, the series and other programs have reached close to 1 million people in 144 countries. With the publication of “The Living Room,” the stories of 22 powerful and inspiring profiles of men and women affected by lung cancer can reach even more.
Stories of hope within the pages of the book will include the experiences of:
• Lucy and her husband, Dr. Paul Kalanithi, a neurosurgical resident entering his final year of training. The couple brought their baby girl, Cady, into the world just eight months before his death. Kalanithi wrote the epilogue and published her husband’s bestseller, “When Breath Becomes Air.”
• Hank “The Big Hug” Baskett, a U.S. Air Force chief master sergeant (retired), whose deployments took him all over the world. Baskett received a diagnosis of lung cancer, but the physician treating him hadn’t done the proper biomarker testing and did not realize he was eligible for a targeted therapy.
• Gina Hollenbeck, a not yet 40-year-old and the nonsmoking, healthy mother of two boys. Hollenbeck looked the picture of health when she walked into the emergency room holding her X-rays under her arm and had to convince the doctors that something was seriously wrong with her.
• Matt Hiznay, a lifelong nonsmoker who was just 24 when he learned he had lung cancer. Early treatment saved his life.
• Juanita Segura, a 51-year-old healthy eater and CrossFit enthusiast. The first doctor told her she had asthma and prescribed an inhaler. Then the wheezing turned into a horrible cough. The next doctor had to deliver the news that she had lung cancer. “Dude,” she said to him, “I don’t even smoke.”
“They are my new heroes, the very definition of what it means to be brave,” Addario wrote in the book. “They don’t give in and they don’t give up, men and women who come to the Living Room hopeless and leave hopeful. So come right in. Join us and make yourself comfortable. Our session is about to begin.”
All proceeds from the book will go directly to research and patient services.
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