Fighting Against ALK+ Lung Cancer
Fueled to tackle lung cancer since a diagnosis shook our family on February 1st, 2019. Dan, a young father of two daughters (ages 4 and 7) and husband to his high school sweetheart, Brittany, Dan was admitted to the hospital because he was out of breath after having a “cold” since the previous November that included shortness of breath, loss of voice and a chronic cough that consumed every waking moment of his day.
After multiple trips to his primary care physician, he had no answers or relief of his symptoms. Without the suggestion of his wife and a doctor through Tele-medicine, Dan wouldn’t have found out his prognosis until it was too late.
Dan was told they had found masses on his lungs and one on his mediastinum. Fast forward through appointments, scans, surgeries and the extremely devastating news, our lives were forever changed when we were given the news that Dan had Stage IV Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer. Otherwise in great health, this news shocked everyone including his care team.
At the age of 34 years old at diagnosis, a non-smoker and in great health before prior to February, this news was shocking to everyone, including his care team. Unfortunately, this cancer is a genetic mutation called ALK+, not hereditary and not caused by lifestyle choices.
Dan has been one of the “lucky” people with an amazing support system, a remarkable medical team and has had the aid of a daily medicine which has allowed him to live. His medicine specifically targets his cancer cells with little side effects, unlike chemotherapy and has essentially killed almost all of the cancer cells currently in his body. However, we don’t know how long the targeted drugs he is on will be effective, but we do know that new innovative discoveries are necessary to continue the battle in transforming lung cancer from a death sentence to a chronic disease.
We want people, young and old, to have the knowledge and understanding that if you have lungs, you can get lung cancer. We want to assist families who are struggling financially due to cancer. We want moms and dads, like Dan, to be able to see up to see their kids and grandkids through their teenage years and to get married. We want to continue passing on hope and are asking for your help to do this.
More lives are lost to lung cancer annually than breast, colon and colorectal cancers combined. We need people like you to help support unique, cutting edge research, families and loved ones affected by lung cancer.