LUNGevity Foundation is proud to announce Bonnie Addario as the July LUNGevity Hero. Bonnie was not only able to tackle her own disease, but also has helped others in their own battles – raising money for research, providing patient support and advocacy, informing individuals about the disease, and addressing the unjust stigma that has left lung cancer both the leading cancer killer and the least researched. She has also worked to raise awareness of life-saving lung cancer research into early detection methods such as CT scans which diagnosed her own disease early enough to give her a fighting chance.
In December 2003, after several misdiagnoses of her condition, Bonnie learned of her diagnosis. She was no stranger to lung cancer. She knew the battle she had ahead. The disease had affected five people in her family, three of whom had died. Her fight was just beginning.
With a tumor inconveniently located behind her heart, Bonnie endured a multitude of treatments. It was arduous. But after countless radiation and chemotherapy treatments and a 14 hour long surgery, Bonnie was able to beat the disease.
“I was amazed to find out that I actually knew nothing about the disease,” Bonnie admits of herself upon first diagnosis. “Being misdiagnosed and on a treatment journey that was going downhill really, really quickly I realized I had to be an advocate for myself to get the best possible care to survive.”
She has made it her mission, since beating lung cancer, to share her story and raise awareness of the disease and the importance of the early detection technology that saved her life. She joined the Thoracic Oncology Board at University of California at San Francisco and the Foundation Board of Sequoia to help inform others about the disease. In 2006, Bonnie created a foundation for lung cancer, the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation, to further empower patients at a time when support and educational resources about lung cancer were limited at best. In 2008, Bonnie created ALCMI, a patient-centric, international research consortium. Since then, Bonnie has inspired many in her quest to bring hope to the fight against lung cancer.