I was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer in June 2005. Learning of the extremely low funding levels for lung cancer and the unchanged survival rate over decades prompted me to get involved. After researching lung cancer organizations, I chose to volunteer with Lung Cancer Alliance. I have served as the Co-Director of the California chapter and remain heavily involved in the Annual Breath of Hope walk. The first ever advocacy work I did was at the first UCSD Lung Cancer Symposium.
I have spent time in both Sacramento and Washington DC meeting with legislators to support and pass lung cancer funding bills. I am also an “official” Phone Buddy for those newly diagnosed with the disease but I admit that I have been an unofficial phone buddy for over 100 different people. All of this work led me to receive a Hero’s Award in San Diego.
Living in San Diego, I graduated from UC San Diego in 1983 with a BA in Communications and Visual Arts. I ran my own business, a One Hour Photo and a Copy Shop, and became a recognized leader in his industry bring these two types of businesses together. I also started the 2nd all digital photo lab in the country. I do my best to bring my business, graphic arts and people skills to the work I do for Lung Cancer Alliance.
Working with few other survivors, my wife and I founded the San Diego Breath of Hope Lung Cancer Walk where in the first four years, we have raised almost half a million dollars for lung cancer. I continue to work on Breath of Hope, travel to support groups, participate as a speaker at lung cancer and other events and provide commentary via television, radio and print interviews.
I live with my wife, Susan, and enjoy spending my free time working in the mountains clearing brush, cutting firewood, gardening, hunting and fishing.