Stories of Sisters. Stories of Strength.

Sandra, her mother,  Rosalind, Carolyn and Nicole.

Sandra’s mother Phyllis Horton (top left), her oldest sister Carolyn Robinson (top right), her sister Rosalind Turner (bottom left), her niece and Carolyn’s oldest daughter Nicole Burnett (bottom middle) and Carolyn’s youngest daughter, Carolyn Greene (bottom right).

Sunday, August 2nd was National Sister’s Day, a day to show your appreciation for your sisters. In honor of the holiday, we found a family in our community that is full of sisters, strength, love, inspiration and hope.

SANDRA
My name is Sandra Walker; lung cancer has impacted my life tremendously. My mother, a non-smoker, died in April 2005 from lung cancer, so in 2013 when I was told that my two older sisters and my niece had been diagnosed with the same disease all within a six month span, I was devastated.  They all appeared to be in good health prior to their diagnoses.

CAROLYN
My name is Carolyn Robinson. I am Sandra’s oldest sister. I am a lung cancer survivor. I lost my sister and oldest daughter to lung cancer in 2013, as I too battled this terrible disease. Just years before this, my youngest daughter was diagnosed with breast cancer. She fights and continues to fight. Her survivorship is an inspiration to me and our entire family.

With the gift of life I have been given, I hold onto my other two daughters, sisters, nieces, granddaughter and great-grands and give them lots of love. I try and focus my efforts on helping other cancer patients and survivors. Helping others makes me feel closer to those I have lost.

CRYSTAL
My name is Crystal Horton and I am the youngest sister and the baby of the family. My role was that of the caregiver. Professionally, I am a nurse, so caregiving comes naturally to me. When my mother was sick, I took her to all her appointments and provided care.

I found that being a nurse, and the only medical professional in the family, brought both benefits, as well as difficulties. My medical knowledge made me feel purposeful in doctor’s appointments, acting as a medium between the doctors and my family members. The experiences I have endured have given me a strength I never knew I had. I fight and live every day for those family members that are no longer here.

SANDRA
After living through these incredibly difficult losses, our family has become even closer and are careful not to take one another for granted. What gives me strength throughout difficult times are the memories.

My sister Carolyn, now a two year survivor, is not only my biggest supporter, but also motivates and inspires me. She has endured losing both her sister and daughter, all while fighting lung cancer herself.

I wanted to help others in my position, so I became involved with the Lung Cancer Alliance and this year joined the planning community of Lung Love Walk Atlanta. What an amazing experience to come together with other’s touched by the disease. Additionally, I make sure to get a CT scan every year in October in honor of my sister Rosalind who passed away the same month in 2013. I pledge to do everything in my power to bring awareness to this illness.

 

If you or a loved one is battling lung cancer and have questions or need to speak with someone, please call our HelpLine at 1-800-298-2436 or email support@lungcanceralliance.org.

For opportunities to get involved in the fight against lung cancer, click here!