Katie lost the love of her life, husband Benjie, to lung cancer on October 24, 2017. The diagnosis came just two months before Benjie passed, but he had symptoms long before he was finally diagnosed. Benjie was 57 years old.
Katie and the couple’s children miss Benjie every day and feel frustrated by the lack of awareness about this disease in society. They have questions:
Why aren’t we screened for lung cancer, the deadliest of all cancers, when we screen for other less deadly cancers annually?
Why aren’t we educated as a society about what lung cancer looks like and when it is time for a low does CT scan?
Katie’s daughters read a book focused on grief called, It’s OK That You’re Not OK. The author explains that everyone needs a 3AM buddy, someone to call when in need of a friend in the middle of the night. They vowed to be that friend to each other, but Katie quickly realized that her 3AM buddy was Benjie. And as it goes with grief, the pain of the loss rolls over and through her over and over again, especially in the middle of the night.
Katie recently join the A Breath of Hope Circle of Light (abreathofhope.org/donate) because she lives with the profound loss of lung cancer every single day and she knows she must take action to help other families avoid all she has been through. She is angry that this silent killer goes undetected until it is too advanced to beat. She is angry that 433 people die of lung cancer every day, yet there is little public conversation about this disease.
Katie hopes that her support of A Breath of Hope Lung Foundation (ABOH) will help:
1) Educate the public about the disease (including the inaccurate and mean stigma) using facts;
2) Support ABOH research and support services for patients and family members; and
3) Get LUNG CANCER SCREENING added to EVERYONE’S annual healthcare rights.
In the end, Katie hopes her efforts to change lung cancer outcomes will save other’s 3AM buddies.❤️