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Weston women form group to step up cancer fight


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Weston women form group to step up cancer fight

By Marcia Freidenreich

Special correspondent

Posted October 20 2006

Weston · The bond between mother and daughter is often a strong one, and for three Weston women, their mothers were their best friends.

That's why the loss of their mothers to lung cancer was so devastating. The three women, Kim DeProspero, Ali Wasserman and Terri Braun, have started a grass-roots movement to lobby Congress to combat the disease, which kills more people than breast, prostate, colon, liver, kidney cancer and melanoma combined, according to the Lung Cancer Alliance.


The women, who are coordinating their efforts under the leadership of the alliance, want more money spent on research to cure the disease. Because lung cancer is often associated with smoking, research is underfunded, according to the alliance.

However, the group says more than half of those diagnosed with lung cancer are nonsmokers or former smokers.

"She was my best friend," DeProspero said of her mom, Judy DeProspero, who died in April 2001, only 38 days after being diagnosed with the disease. "She was an angel on Earth."

Braun's mom, Janis Dorfman, was diagnosed in August 2005 and died two months later.

"You can never replace a mother. She was my best friend, I could call her at 6 a.m.," Braun said. "She was always there for me."

Braun's mother was unaware the large tumor was growing in her lung for a long time because she was fit and in good shape, doctors told the family.

Many people with lung cancer have no symptoms until the disease has advanced into late stages. According to the alliance, only 15 percent of people diagnosed with lung cancer survive more than five years.

To reduce the mortality rate, the group wants Congress to provide coverage for lung cancer screening tests for high-risk people under Medicaid.

"My mom and I spoke on the phone several times a day. I went back to Toronto every six weeks to see her," said Wasserman, whose mom, Cindy Kirsch, was diagnosed in July 2004 and died in February this year.

For more information, visit www.lungcanceralliance.org. For the local group, call 305-775-5463 or e-mail kdeprospero@aol.com.

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