Survivors

The Lung Cancer Survivor stories presented on this page are stories of courage, stories of triumph over unbelievable adversity, stories of HOPE. Many of the people highlighted in these stories had their first brush with this disease via a stage 4 lung cancer diagnosis.  Yet, through the advances in lung cancer treatments brought about by transformative lung cancer research, these lung cancer survivors continue to inspire us by living their lives in the way they want.  We are honored they have shared their stories with Lung Cancer Foundation of America.

Lung Cancer Foundation of America is working to change the public perceptions of lung cancer through education and personal stories of those impacted by this leading cause of death in cancer.  These stories bring special attention to specific health conditions associated closely with lung cancer.  Join us by submitting a story, browsing the gallery, sharing stories via social media and more.

Please add your Survivor Story to these Stories of HOPE. Don’t forget to include some photos!

Dr. Michael Weitz, M.D.
Santa Monica, CA

I am blessed. I have an incredible wife and 3 wonderful boys. I’m a doctor and practice emergency medicine. But in the blink of an eye, our world was turned upside down when I was diagnosed with advanced lung cancer.

I was 49 years old and basically given 4-8 months to live. We cried together, hugged each other and decided we would live life day by day and for our children’s sake…

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Nancy Huhn

My name is Nancy Huhn. My cancer diagnosis was five years ago, October 16.

However, the medical story begins probably 3-4 years prior when I started complaining about chest pain. I had several visits to doctors including an emergency room run because of the severe pain in my chest. At each of these occasions I was given a heart stress test and told “your heart is fine”.

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Dusty Donaldson
High Point, NC

One beautiful Tuesday morning in September, the doctor said, “I am very sorry to tell you but you have lung cancer.”

We were shocked. Even the doctor was shocked.

That was in 2005. Little did I know how those words would change my life. In fact, little did know about lung cancer. Since then I have learned so much…

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Virginia Purdy
Benicia, CA

My story starts early in the year of 1999. I was having trouble with my shoulder. When I was at work, I could not get things off the shelves without being in a lot of pain. I went to the doctors and they sent me to physical therapy to do exercises. That did not help the problem. I was then referred to a physical therapist.

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David Sturges
New Ulm, MN

An attorney and lung cancer survivor, David was diagnosed 22 years after he quit smoking and a little over one year after he climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro. His favorable “score” for a routine heart scan in 2002 was tempered by an incidental notation of a possible nodule on the lower lobe of his right lung. Immediate follow-up tests confirmed a small, malignant tumor – lung cancer. He underwent surgery for removal of two lobes of his right lung…

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Donna-Lee Lista
North Wales, PA

My name is Donna-Lee Lista, I’ve been married to Ray for over 30 years and I’m mother to two daughters:  Caroline and Alexandra.  After having my yearly scan in February 2014, I am now an 8 year lung cancer survivor.

I was diagnosed at age 47 on January 19th 2006.  It was an incidental find so I was luckier than most…

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Donald Stranathan
Santa Rosa, CA

In September of 2006, I was doing volunteer work at a local prison and went in for an x-ray for a standard TB test; they saw a shadow on my left lung. Over the next year they did a few CT scans, and then a PET scan. The spot on my lung was not hot, but they said I had a lymph node that was warm. They then brought me in for a bronchoscopy, but were unable to biopsy the lymph node during that procedure; they did test the fluid around the lymph node and it was negative for cancer…

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Missy Petersen
Huntington Beach, CA

Missy is a 47 year-old mother of two who teaches kindergarten, has never smoked, and who had the training and the endurance to run a half-marathon.

In 2009, Missy was diagnosed with Stage 4 Lung Cancer, after she had lost her voice and…

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Jim Lamp
Templeton, CA

My name is Jim Lamp & I have served 6 years in the Navy most on a Fast Attack nuclear submarine & 28 years working at a nuclear power plant, most recently as a Shift Forman in California. I was born November 1960, 53 years ago. I love God, my family & friends very much & thank them all for their support …

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Alex Hanan
Los Angeles, CA

Alex Hanan is in his early 40s; a non-smoking, healthy young man, who exercises regularly, eats relatively well and has a great group of truly dedicated friends.

In January of 2014, Alex was diagnosed with Stage 4 Lung Cancer. It was a great shock to him…

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Corey Wood
California

I am a 23-year-old girl who is beating stage IV lung cancer.

Just 2 weeks after graduating from UC Berkeley, I was walking down a street in San Francisco when I received an unexpected phone call. “Corey, you have adenocarcinoma…

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