In March 2014, Wendell Anderson and his wife took their girls to Florida where they ran on the beaches every morning. In April, Wendell hurt his back carrying a grill to their deck. He visited the doctor and a chiropractor. His pain caused him to miss a few events, such as Easter. Finally, he had enough of the pain and asked for an MRI. Before he left the office following the MRI, the technician told him his doctor would call tonight. Stunned, they had no idea why she would call in the evening.
Robbi Fanberg and her husband have been missionaries for 27 years in Central and South America. Their most recent project involved starting a coffee shop to try to establish relationships with the people of San Jose, Costa Rica.
Bonnie Ziskin has never been sick a day in her life. She describes herself as a driven individual who lives an adventurous and healthy lifestyle. She spends her time traveling, kayaking, riding horses and playing tennis. Bonnie lives life to the fullest and went back to school later in life to pursue a healthcare career. However, in 2012, injury and sickness came in three’s.
Curt Anderson began experiencing symptoms late in 2010. A chest X-ray proved negative, but gratefully his pulmonologist suggested a CT scan “just to be safe.” The scan showed a large tumor in his right lung which turned out to be non-small cell lung cancer. It did not appear to have spread beyond the lung. In 2011, Curt underwent chemotherapy, radiation treatment and surgery to remove his right lung. Today, Curt is very thankful to be among the fifteen percent of lung cancer patients who have survived this deadly disease.
In May of 2013, I was working out and running a couple miles each day. On our family vacation in Arizona, I climbed Camel Back Mountain in Scottsdale, Arizona. But, it all started to fall apart in approximately May of that same year. I was so tired and everything seemed like an effort. I had roving pains. Some days my right shoulder hurt, then my left. Other days my abdomen hurt and about the time that stopped, my liver would hurt. One persistent ache never seemed to leave and that was heaviness in my chest.
Kelly Andrews-Klagmann lost her courageous battle with non-small cell lung cancer at the tragically young age of 27. Kelly’s diagnosis occurred after a week of hospitalization and months of misdiagnosed bronchitis and pneumonia. Previous signs included being winded on a bike and a diagnosis of allergies after wheezing during yard work. She did not smoke. She ate well. She exercised often.
Mac was a marathon runner, never smoked and has a father who is active and well at age 95. Mac was always healthy.
It was March of 2006 when I was first diagnosed with lung cancer, but I consider my journey unofficially starting June of 2005 when I was first diagnosed with pneumonia, strep and mono all at the same time. After nearly a year of antibiotics and numerous trips to the ER and urgent care, a thoracic surgeon recommended that I needed to have a lobectomy on my left lung to get rid of what he thought was an abscess infection that would not heal. At the age of 26, this was a big deal, a life changer for me.
By Circle of Light Spot Light Donor, Mary Zimmer
Phil Huston, 62 and a non-smoker athlete, was diagnosed with lung cancer quite by accident in June, 2008. He took a bad fall in while trail running and broke several ribs. X-rays to evaluate the damage showed a tumor in his lung. With no symptoms, he would never have known he had cancer. “I call it my God-fall,” he says.