Please give generously this holiday season
When Joey was 21 years old, he began seeing his doctor because of a persistent cough that wouldn’t go away. Because of his age, his doctors didn’t suspect he could have lung cancer. They ran tests, thinking that he had bronchitis or pneumonia. At one point, they tested him for tuberculosis, even though, according to the Government of Canada’s website, “the rate of active tuberculosis in Canada is among the lowest in the world.”
It took 10 months before a doctor suspected that Joey might have lung cancer and ran more tests – by then, his lung cancer had grown so much that he had to have 2/3rds of his lung removed.
“I didn’t fit the profile of a lung cancer patient,” says Joey, in a recent interview. “Not many young people get lung cancer, but I did. It happened to me.”
During his diagnosis, Joey joined the Lung Health Foundation as a patient advocate and volunteer. He accepted any opportunity that was offered to him, to share his story across Canada, being featured in news articles, hospital displays and on television.
“I love to sing,” says Joey, “and the Lung Health Foundation gave me the opportunity to share my story by using my voice. I was so scared after I had part of my lung removed that I wouldn’t be able to sing anymore, but I could.”
For Joey, becoming a patient advocate meant he could finally share what it was like to have lung cancer at such a young age. With no one that he could relate to, he didn’t often talk about his diagnosis directly with others. As a patient advocate, and through his music, he was suddenly able to open up and release all of the pain and confusion that he had been holding inside after his diagnosis.
“It’s terrible disease that kills so many people,” adds Joey. “I’d like people to know that it can happen to young people like me and that it’s critical to create awareness.”
Your donation today will help people like Joey have a voice to tell others about their lung disease. It will help create awareness so that Canadians – even younger ones – know what questions to ask their doctors and to have tests for lung cancer and COPD performed.
Start the new year with a donation today and help others like Joey. Consider a monthly gift, knowing that your support will extend year-round.
Lung health starts now – and it starts with you.
As we enter the holiday season and then move into what mental health experts suggest may be the darkest months of the year, support for those struggling with lung disease is critical.
During this time, the Lung Health Foundation will continue to offer vitally important support to Canadians living with a lung disease.
Karen is one example of those using the programs and services provided by the Lung Health Foundation. She’s been living with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) since 2012 and is just one of the millions of Canadians coping with this type of lung disease. In a recent interview, Karen described how alone she felt during her diagnosis and wishes more resources had been made available to her at the time – like the online support groups and virtual fitness programs she discovered at the Lung Health Foundation.
“It’s so important to be able to talk to someone that has shared experience about what the journey will be like,” says Karen. “An online support group can help prepare you for what will happen and also the impact that it will have on your family and those that care about you.”
Individuals like Karen can register online at www.lunghealth.ca for a support group – these meetings are available at no cost and are held monthly throughout the year. Two support groups are available; one to support those living with lung disease and another for caregivers, who often need their own support group as caring for a loved one with lung disease can be both draining and emotional.
“It’s hard at the beginning,” says Ken, Karen’s ex-husband and one of her primary caregivers. “You just don’t accept what’s going on and then you see your loved one struggling and they need help. You realize that they can’t do it alone.”
Thanks to the generous support of our community of donors, people like Karen and Ken don’t have to struggle alone during the darkest times of the year – or year-round.
Lung health starts now – and it starts with you.
Your donation today will ensure we can continue to offer this vitally important support to Canadians living with a lung disease. Donations received on or before December 31st will receive a 2022 tax receipt.
Lung health starts now – and starts with you.
Our partners in lung health, ProResp and Rexall Care Network, will continue to generously match all donations, dollar-for-dollar, up to $40,000. Your gift will make twice the impact to help even more Canadians.
Your donation today will give people like MaryAnn, a lung cancer survivor, the strength she needs to fight lung disease.
MaryAnn, a lung cancer survivor, was shocked when she received her lung cancer diagnosis, but then her approach to her diagnosis became straightforward. She wanted to learn as much as she possibly could about her disease, her treatment options, her prognosis and what her quality of life could look like. She spent time on our website at www.lunghealth.ca and the more she learned, the more empowered MaryAnn became – to the point that she found purpose in her diagnosis. As her confidence grew she discovered that she could talk about what it was like to be diagnosed with lung cancer, the stigma associated with it, and the insensitive questions that she would be asked after revealing that she had lung cancer.
Over time, the Lung Health Foundation has provided MaryAnn the strength to talk to others about her lived experience.
“The programs and services at the Lung Health Foundation give those of us with lung disease the opportunity to empower each other, giving us the confidence to take control of our own patient journey,” says MaryAnn. “I am stronger because of it.”
Our partners in lung health, ProResp and Rexall Care Network, generously matched all donations on Giving Tuesday, dollar-for-dollar, up to $40,000. On this day your gift made twice the impact to help even more Canadians.