We live in a world filled with promise.
For every loss, as wrenching and nonsensical as it is, there is advancement.
We live in a time when we can communicate around the globe with the touch of a button, connect with long-lost loved ones in minutes, and can identify the body’s smallest components with technology that our parents couldn’t even imagine.
All of this to say that we are closer than ever to understanding and defeating cancer. For those of us impacted so deeply by this disease (and who isn’t?), this means that there is hope. There are so many things for which to be thankful. We know so much more about how cancer works – and how it doesn’t – than at any other point in history, and we’re using this knowledge to make real progress.
Now that doesn’t mean that any of us can rest on our laurels. Especially with lung cancer, we have lots of work to do.
But this Lung Cancer Awareness Month, I’ve seen lung cancer mentioned more than ever before, with stories in the national and local media and survivors and caretakers raising their voices in unison. We ARE making progress and we ARE gaining visibility. The millions of us affected by this disease are mobilizing and using our collective voices (and we are LOUD) to say ENOUGH. Enough of the lack of funding. Enough of the stigma. And enough of the impact on our families. We’re mad as hell and we’re not taking it any more. And we’re NOT.
So, this Thanksgiving, be thankful. Be hopeful. We are making progress. We are joining forces. And we are getting closer to a world in which we can turn our attention to other battles, a world in which cancer no longer needs or deserves so much of our time and energy.
Keep up the fight. Never give up.
Beth Ida Stern
Beth was the executive director of LUNGevity until 2010 when she relocated to California and began her career as Senior Director of Development for City of Hope.