November 8th was the annual Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation’s (ALCF) Gala.
I first attended this event in 2012, only months into chemotherapy and still in the whirlwind phase of diagnosis. The Gala allowed me to meet other patients and survivors. It was a pivotal point in my journey as the event filled us with hope.
The following year, I attended while still recovering from radiation and adjusting to a life with one lung. When Bonnie called upon me to speak to the audience and share my story, my journey once again took a major change. It sparked a passion in me to join the fight to raise lung cancer awareness.
At this year’s Gala, as the audience listened to the leading oncologists and researchers speak on this year’s advancements and the future possibilities, I found myself holding the hand of a new patient, a beautiful 22 year old woman, Corey. She was at her first Gala. Like I did at my first, I watched her grow in confidence throughout the event. I realized that Bonnie Addario and Scott Santarella have given me the greatest gift. As a member of ALCF, my fight against lung cancer is not just limited to my personal fight. I have the opportunity and platform to reach and help so many others. I am so grateful.
And oh yeah, one more nugget: Stella’s not the only chick that got her groove back. After a year break, I found myself back on the dance floor in 2014. And there’s video to prove it:
Much love. Live in the moment.