When an Unexpected Cancer Association Leads to a Lifelong Connection

Lung Cancer Heroes®CURE® Lung Cancer Heroes® 2021 Essay Book
Volume 2

A lung cancer survivor explains how a serendipitous friendship with her stepson’s girlfriend’s aunt changed her life.

In October 2018, I was diagnosed with non-small cell adenocarcinoma lung cancer. Just prior to that, my stepson had started dating a girl in Florida where they lived. Living in New York, we hadn’t yet met her. She and I became Facebook friends, and her mother and I had a few mutual friends.

As we got to know each other, it became known to me that Mariann, the aunt of my stepson’s girlfriend, had lung cancer. We had the opportunity to meet, and she told me her story. Having been newly diagnosed myself, I saw how amazingly well she was doing and had been a survivor for about three years already. I was extremely encouraged. She was working at the time, and each year she formed a team called Bighouse Warriors to walk in the LUNGevity Lung Force Walk. Her team has raised thousands of dollars.

Mariann is now a six-year survivor, and I’m almost a three-year survivor. Ironically, we’ve now become family since my stepson and her niece have married. Mariann and I text each other about our care and even share the same oncologist. She has been my lung cancer hero and if you meet her, you’ll understand why.

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