Dance Dance Revolution

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.

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Me with new patient, Corey Wood at her first – of many – ALCF Galas.

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.

EmBen

 

LIVESTRONG

EmTay  LivestrongLast month, Miles’ sister EmTay was in Austin, Texas for the South by Southwest (SXSW) Conference and had the opportunity to attend an event at the LIVESTRONG headquarters.  EmBen’s care team is a huge fan of the LIVESTRONG website.  It has been their go-to resource for remedies to lessen the debilitating side effects of chemo, surgery, and radiation, and for investigating alternative therapies and supplements. The website presents information clearly and succinctly, based on research and scientific evidence, and helps patients and caregivers understand what is effective and what should be avoided.  The website will be an integral part of the next step in designing a program to rebuild EmBen’s strength and immune system to keep her healthy.

While at SXSW, EmTay ran into her friend Ronen who mentioned he had been following EmBen’s story.  According to EmTay, the only thing bigger than Ronen’s heart is his personal network.  He immediately started contacting his connections at LIVESTRONG and they were as touched by EmBen’s fight as we all have been.

Within days, LIVESTRONG IT Coordinator Kammie Russel put together a care package and the staff wrote inspirational messages to Emily on a large yellow poster.  It was quite a hit!

EmBen Livestrong

Idaho State High School Hurdles Champion and Scripps College All-Conference Volleyball Player, Emily “EmBen” Taylor, was pumped by the LIVESTRONG delivery that arrived  while she was recovering from surgery that removed her right lung and simultaneously undergoing high dose radiation treatments for stage IV lung cancer.