Year In Review

What a difference a year can make!  Thank you to all of our family, friends, and supporters who have been a part of this journey. To those who come to this site in need of inspiration, this look back at 2013 is for you.  

Much love.  Live in the Moment.   

Emily & Miles

TREATMENT

January 2013

Six months post-diagnosis, Emily completed seven rounds of chemotherapy.  The triple-drug cocktail of Carboplatin, Alimta, and Avastin was toxic but effective, making Emily eligible for surgery.  Miles’ employer, The Garland Company, generously donated to help fund the Young Lung Study, and produced this heartfelt and uplifting video of Emily’s path to surgery.

February 2013

Emily and Miles temporarily relocated to New York City for an innovative, post-chemo treatment of Stage IV Adenocarcinoma at Mt. Sinai Hospital.  On February 8th, Emily successfully underwent an extra-pleural pneumonectomy, removing her entire right lung, pleura, seven nodes, half of her diaphragm, and the pericardial sac surrounding her heart. Two days post-op, Emily was caught dancing in the halls of the hospital.

Chief of Thoracic Surgery, Dr. Raja Flores, shared the great news with Emily – he saw no evidence of disease following her procedure.  She was NED!  Emily told Miles it was the happiest day of her life.

NED with Miles

Emily with Dr. Flores

March – April 2013

After three weeks of recovery, Emily embarked on the final stage of treatment: 28 rounds of high-dose radiation to the empty lung cavity.  It proved to be the most arduous part of the battle, but necessary to knock out any microscopic cancer cells and prevent recurrence.

Victory

MOVING FORWARD

September 2013

Six months and two NED scans later, Emily and Miles confidently moved forward in life with the purchase of their first home – a house with plenty of rooms and a large yard for a big family.

Driving to First House

Driving into the neighborhood on move-in day.

Miles carries Emily over the threshold, a dream come true.

Miles carries Emily over the threshold, a dream come true.

PAYING IT FORWARD

While Emily continued to work diligently at her recovery and continued health – sleep, physical therapy, aerobic and breathing exercises, and an array of integrative therapies – she also made an important, life-altering career shift to undertake an active role in lung cancer advocacy.

First SpeechFirst Speech

Emily sought donations to produce and distribute the most comprehensive patient handbook ever published for newly diagnosed lung cancer patients (free download HERE)

First Television Appearance

Next up was a polished and poignant appearance on the nationally televised Steve Harvey Talk Show to promote the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation, awareness of the disease, and to help put a new face on lung cancer and replace the current stigma.

Steve Harvey

First Interview in National Magazine

Emily was highlighted in this article published in The Atlantic in November, ““Why Do Healthy Non-Smokers Get Lung Cancer?”

Speech 1First Performance as a Couple

Emily and Miles took to the stage at the Lung Cancer Foundation’s annual Gala to promote a new study designed to identify a genetic link in lung cancer.  Their heartrending story raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for the cause.

The couple was also featured in this 2013 Gala video highlighting patient success stories.

LOOKING AHEAD

Emily will start the New Year off with a bang when she joins Bonnie Addario as a program participant at an International Conference, “Molecular Origins of Lung Cancer” in San Diego.  Stay tuned, and Happy New Year! 😀

The Garland Company Spirit Week

GarlandMiles’ employer, The Garland Company, recently held a Spirit Week during which they raised more than $40,000.  All of this money was graciously donated to the Bonnie J Addario Lung Cancer Foundation, an organization that Emily has a very close relationship with.  Emily, Miles, and their families would like to extend a HUGE thank you to the entire Garland community who rallied to donate money and offer support.

Garland Spirit Week

Bonnie Addario also had some very kind words for The Garland Company and their incredibly generous donation to the Lung Cancer Foundation.  Bonnie’s letter is below, but the full story can also be found on The Garland Company’s Facebook page.  Please feel free to visit their page (CLICK HERE) and share your own words of appreciation for this incredible organization.

Dear Dave…. 

Miles tells me it is you I should be thanking for the amazing donation to our foundation and the event you held in our honor….Or should we say Emily and Miles’ honor. 

I am not sure that you know just how special a company you are. I am not talking about the products you sell but the ‘heart’ and the ‘character’ that your company has. They say we hire in our own image so I am thinking that the founders of Garland stated their philosophy many years ago and it has served you well. 

We have been with Emily and Miles on their entire journey with lung cancer. The outrageous diagnosis, the shock and then the ‘can do’ attitude they both have for Emily to survive. 

They speak often that they would not have had the ability to FIGHT the way they have without your support. For Miles to be able to work from any location, including hospitals, chemo rooms, airplanes and cars it was only because of you that made this possible. This type of company support is almost unheard of today… 

You have raised the bar of what a company CAN and SHOULD do in these same circumstances. Emily and Miles were able to concentrate on healing and just look at the outcome. 

You have my undying respect, gratitude and love forever! 

Thank you again from everyone here at the foundation. Please know we will put the funds you raised to very, very good use. We are launching a Young Lung Cancer study in about 60 days with people like Emily in mind to see if we can find a new bio marker for this sector of lung cancer that might have a drug in another cancer that can be used in this one. That is the simple version! 

With much gratitude for all you did for both Emily and Miles and what your funding will do for lung cancer. 

Bonnie

Garland Does It Again

As many of you know, Miles works for an incredible organization called The Garland Company.  Back in August, 35 members of the Garland family attended a cancer research benefit in Emily’s honor.  The Garland Company’s show of support for Emily and Miles did not end there though.  Since September, members of the Garland family from around the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom have been providing meals during the nadir and recovery weeks following Emily’s chemotherapy.  Garland for EmBenOver 50 meals from Miles and Emily’s favorite eateries around Los Angeles have been delivered right to their front door.  This amazing gesture has not only kept Emily and Miles well nourished, but without having to think about what they’re going to do for dinner, it’s also given them back precious time to spend together and to focus on much larger day to day challenges.

The Garland Company hosted their annual sales convention in January and Sean Mulligan (i.e. Garland family member extraordinaire who has been coordinating the company’s efforts) gathered Miles and Emily’s meal contributors from around the world together for a big group photo.

Round of applause please!
Garland Meal Donors

Just in case you are not yet 1,973.24% convinced that Garland is the most incredible organization that you want quit your current job and go work for STAT, watch this video about Emily and Miles.  This piece was also put together by the Garland family and shown at the company convention in January.  Enjoy.

To the Garland family – much like Miles and Emily, you are an inspiration to us all!

Good. Great. Garland.

Emily’s husband Miles works for a wonderful organization called The Garland Company.  On August 17, a group of 35 of his Garland colleagues and guests from the corporate office in Cleveland attended the Ohio Cancer Research Association’s annual dinner in Emily’s honor.  Dave Sokol, President of Garland and honoree of the evening, spoke of Emily’s courage, strength, and willpower.  He shared Emily’s story with the audience and his confidence that, with her determination, she will kick cancer.  In honor of Emily’s fight, the entire Garland group wore white ribbons printed with the sentiment “Hope for Emily.”  The Garland family cares about people, period.  They fight for those who are close to them and for those they may never meet.  Dave closed his acceptance speech with some special words that his mother taught him at a young age…”It is more fun to give than it is to receive.”  Dave and The Garland Company embody this motto and Emily and Miles are so grateful for their incredible love and support.

The following video is an excerpt of Dave Sokol talking about Emily’s fight against lung cancer as he is honored by the Ohio Cancer Research Association.