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.
After a brief hiatus from basketball due to a broken rib, John returned to the court and felt unusually short-winded. This prompted him to schedule his annual physical, which he never missed. One month later, his chest x-rays showed multiple spots on his lungs. After an initial misdiagnosis of Sarcoidosis which is scar tissue that builds up in the lungs, John, his wife and their three children received the devastating news that John had stage IV non-smokers lung cancer. The cancer had spread to his bones and was already present in all four lobes of his lungs.
The family worked hard to identify a possible cause for this diagnosis. Second hand smoke? Radon? Exposure to chemicals? They were unable to find a reasonable explanation for this deadly diagnosis, and were soon left with no choice but to fight the ‘silent killer’ in hopes of becoming one of the 5% who defy the odds and beat the disease, in spite of an advanced diagnosis.
John was a candidate for a new ‘smart drug’ therapy which he started immediately. After two months, it was clear that the drugs were not stopping the cancer, so the family chose to begin chemotherapy. John initially responded well (as many lung cancer patients do), but within six months the cancer was back and had spread to his brain.
Ten months after John’s diagnosis, lung cancer claimed his life leaving behind his three young children, a loving wife and family, and countless shocked and heartbroken friends.
On behalf of John’s family and the hundreds of thousands of Americans who are hurt by lung cancer each year, please join A Breath of Hope Lung Foundation in fighting lung cancer through increased awareness, support of patients and their families, and support of young scientists committed to cutting edge lung cancer research.
Through heightened awareness about the causes and symptoms, available early detection screening, and increased research dollars for this under-funded and deeply stigmatized disease, A Breath of Hope Lung Foundation plans to save lives by bringing lung cancer out of the shadows and into the public realm where it can be addressed with the urgency its death toll warrants. We can’t do it without you.