Many thanks to Oprah and the O Magazine staff for helping raise awareness of the growing prevalence of lung cancer among young never-smokers like myself, both through their informative article in last month’s issue and my follow-up letter in their November 2015 publication.
Breath of Life
At age 28, I was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. I was a former college athlete and had never smoked. Three years later – after chemotherapy, surgery to remove my entire right lung, and months of debilitating radiation – I am working as a spokesperson and patient advocate for the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation (ALCF) and participating in the Genomics of Young Lung Cancer study, mentioned in Aimee Swartz’s article “The (Non-) Smoker’s Disease.”
Because of this study, and the amazing care I received through the ALCF, I am starting to think about life after cancer (including the possibility of a baby!). Thank you so much for bringing this story to the attention of your readers. There are thousands of young, healthy, athletic women like myself out there facing a diagnosis like mine. They so desperately need to know that this isn’t their fault, and they aren’t alone.
Emily Bennett Taylor