By Tami Budd, lung cancer survivor
My name is Tami and I am a 54 year old stage IV lung cancer survivor. 2 years ago Monday (Dec 6, 2013) I knew nothing about lung cancer, including the fact that almost 20% of the 157,499 people that die of lung cancer each year have never smoked.
I went to my doctor with a sore muscle on my right side. I had an x-ray, which resulted in a questionable spot. That was followed by a CT scan, showing that the spot was actually stage IV non-operable, metastatic non-small cell lung cancer. I was completely taken by surprise by the news. I am considered a non-smoker and before this thought you had to smoke to get lung cancer. My doctor told me, if I had not found it I would have been dead in a year. WOW!
When I was diagnosed a friend said “It’s not a death sentence, it’s now a condition you just have to deal with, like cholesterol or arthritis.” For some wonderful reason that just put things in perspective. Rather than feel sorry for myself, I chose to take action.
What could I do to help others? To help myself? I am so fortunate to have found Lung Cancer Alliance, who has served as a guide, support and inspiration for me along my journey. I know that the money I raise for them is going directly into helping those touched by the disease via research, advocacy and support programs. Lung Cancer Alliance is like a family; it is not just about the money for them, it is about the people.
This year, I hosted a tennis tournament, raising over $4,000 and joined the Lung Love Walk Houston planning committee to help raise awareness and funds (we raised over $90,000!) for this important cause. I was so surprised at the outpouring concern my friends and family had.
I wake up every morning knowing I get another day of life to live. While I have the opportunity, I want to do everything in my power to help cure this terrible disease so that future generations don’t have to deal with it. I am grateful to Lung Cancer Alliance for giving me the opportunity to do just that!
This December, every dollar you give will be matched to make a direct impact for those in need. Your generous donation will help those touched by lung cancer, like me. Give today!