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.
The diagnosis of lung cancer was gut-wrenching, chilling and cruel since he had quit smoking and appeared in excellent health. He was ignorant that after twenty-two years as a non-smoker he was still at risk for lung cancer even though there was no family history of the disease and he was not symptomatic.
After his diagnosis David became acutely aware that lung cancer is the step-child of cancer research. There are few survivors of lung cancer in a position to advocate for others suffering from or at risk for lung cancer. David’s journey to recovery and his growing awareness of the sad state of funding for lung cancer research has brought him into the fold of advocacy as a means of changing the approach to funding lung cancer research for those who have not survived, for those who are suffering from the disease and for those at risk.