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The Compassionate Cycle - by Katie Brown

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Published on the LUNGevity website: http://blog.lungevity.org/2010/10/12/th ... nate-cycle

October 12th, 2010 - by Katie Brown

My entry into the world of cancer began when my own father was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2002. I became a caregiver and later a patient advocate. Over time I became educated about the disease, learned the lingo and acronyms, could recite the disease statistics and felt confident to talk to medical professionals and ask those really hard questions.

I believe all of those things are essential in being successful in the fight against lung cancer but my family and I couldn’t have gotten thru the difficult emotional roller coaster had it not been for the support of those who had walked the path before us; the patients, survivors and co-survivors who had experienced it all before and came back to walk the walk with us and make our journey a little smoother.

That’s what you’ll find at our lung cancer support community. Our online network is full of people ready to welcome newcomers and share their experiences and advice on talking to medical professionals, questions to ask, treatment options and managing side effects.

There’s a compassionate cycle that repeats itself over several months, with survivors and families who have been affected by lung cancer wanting to “give back” in some way after having been supported by others thru their most difficult times. They “give back” by being online to help others, but they also do other things to feel like they are making a difference in the fight against lung cancer.

Some unique examples of alternative giving:

• Andrea Scheff has produced three cookbooks with recipes from people affected by lung cancer and donates proceeds to LUNGevity.

• Debi Wills Gemmell is giving back by donating a one-week stay at her bed-and-breakfast to the incredible caregiver who wins the LUNGevity Caregiver Contest.

• The founders of Life-Links, Michael and Linda Moore, are donating portion of all sales from now until the end of November to LUNGevity.

• Our incredible event coordinators and their dedicated committee members and volunteers give months of their time and talent to make our walks, runs and other fundraising events so successful.

This enormous community of supporters and friends who “give back” in such incredible ways make LUNGevity the dynamic organization it is. All of you are making a difference in the fight against lung cancer and in the lives of those affected by lung cancer each and every day!

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