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.
Gary Brausen, hockey player, runner, fitness guy and nonsmoker was shocked when he was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2011. Like most people in our country, he thought lung cancer only happened to smokers. The diagnosis rocked his world and brought a sense of disbelief to his wife, his two sons and all who knew him. He was not expected to make it.
Julie Brusegaard-Bissell was a vibrant young woman who touched many lives during her 38 years of life. A teacher, swimmer, loving daughter and sis-ter, faithful wife and devoted mother … she brought joy and laughter to so many who knew her.
Toni Egan and Sharon Eggerichs are first cousins from a close family. Their parents were siblings and their families spent many happy hours together on the farm where their parents grew up. Toni’s mother and Sharon’s father were the oldest of nine kids. They were always looking out for each other. When they were teenagers, Toni’s mother introduced her brother to a good friend from work, who later became her sister-in-law (Sharon’s mother).
Ron A. Ungerman was a life-long resident of Minneapolis. He was well known, well-loved and well-respected throughout the community. After serving in the Army, attending the University of MN and marrying his high school sweetheart, Margaret, Ron became one of the first licensed contractors in the state of Minnesota. In 1977, he founded R.A. Ungerman Construction Co, a thriving local business that has been helping Minnesotans restore their properties after disasters for more than 35 years.
When Ron was young, he began smoking. Throughout his adult years, he worked hard to beat the habit. Finally, shortly after his 60th birthday, he quit smoking once and for all.
Lise Ramstad Kraemer was an active, fit, and health-conscious 43-year-old non-smoker when she was diagnosed with stage 2B lung cancer after experiencing sore knees and ankles. The pain, her only symptom, was caused by hormones associated with the disease.
Lise fought the disease valiantly for more than two years and provided an extraordinary example of unbounded hope, courage, quick wit, humor and perseverance throughout her treatment.
John Bush was a tall, slender and healthy 52-year-old Minnesotan who loved life. He ran daily and played basketball on three different leagues. His basketball buddies called him ‘running deer’ due to the quick sprints he was known for on the court.