By Cindy Gonzalez
I traveled to Washington DC in May of 2011 to the first HOPE Summit with the idea that I would be meeting with some old friends and have an opportunity to share some experiences with some new people with whom I have a strong common bond-Lung Cancer. I happen to be a survivor, and there were other survivors there, and there were some who have been both caregivers and survivors!
All of these people CARE about lung cancer and want to do something to make people aware of the inequities in funding and the advances that are being made. LUNGevity wants to make people aware that this is a survivable disease, and that you can lead an active and healthy life post lung-cancer.
During this wonderful weekend, I found that I share so many common feelings and experiences with all of the others in attendance. We went to dinner-it was upbeat and lively-with no one ever at a loss for words despite the fact that many of us had never been in the same room together. We shared some cancer experiences, of course, but we also talked about all kinds of things-our families, our lives, and our hopes for healthy lives going forward.
The next day we spent in our meeting-we formally shared our experiences with each other and really talked about what might be meaningful for a HOPE Summit in 2012. Again, there were a lot of conversations and really listening to each other because we share common experiences. There were some tears, laughs, and a lot of straightforward talk about issues, accomplishments, and all of the other things that survivors wonder if everybody else in their shoes is experiencing.
We took a bus together in the evening to attend a fundraiser for LUNGevity – again lots of great conversations and more opportunity to spend time with people who “get it.” LUNGevity wants a world where no one dies of lung cancer-how great would that be?
I left for home the next day confident that LUNGevity can make a difference-it was an inspiring weekend. The 2012 HOPE Summit will be a ‘must attend’ event for me. I hope to see you there too.
Cindy is an 8 year survivor of lung cancer. She joined LUNGevity’s online Lung Cancer Support Community in 2003 and gives back by volunteering as an online moderator, a LifeLine Support Partner to newly diagnosed patients and uses her story to empower others and raise awareness about lung cancer.
Registration to attend the 2012 LUNGevity Hope Summit is now open to the public! We will feature some incredible speakers and sessions and space is limited so register quickly. For those applicants needing travel assistance to Washington DC, we will also offer a limited number of travel scholarships.
Apply today for this incredible one of a kind summit for lung cancer survivors.