Lung Leavin’ Day: Raising Awareness

A Bonfire

Smashed Plates

Releasing Fears

Celebrating Life

Finding Hope

Funding Mesothelioma Awareness

This is what “Lung Leaving Day” is all about!

Cancer, that hated six letter word, touches many lives in many ways.  Some people get it as a child and fight most of their lives to get rid of it, as my friend’s four year old daughter with ALL (Acute Lymphatic Leukemia) is doing right now. Some get it as an senior citizen and struggle as this horrible virus eats away what little strength age hasn’t all ready stolen from them.

Then some get it when smack dab in the middle of their lives when their only concern isn’t getting better but how will their young children get on if they don’t get better…

This was the situation that Heather Von St. James found herself in when as a new mom at the age of 36 she was diagnosed with Mesothelioma, a form of aggressive lung cancer that is normally seen in older men who were exposed to asbestos having worked in construction and shipyards for most of their lives.

On her interactive page for “Lung Leavin’ Day”  celebrated February 2nd of this year; Heather explains that she was exposed to the asbestos on her father’s work shirts that she liked to play in as a kid.

She had just given birth to her daughter, Lily, when this devastating diagnosis and 15 month life expectancy prognosis was handed down to her.

Husband, Cameron; Daughter, Lilly; and Heather

Lily & Heather

Eight years ago she had her lung removed in hopes of stopping the spread of the disease. Her sister joked with her on the day of her surgery that it was “Lung leavin’ day” and the name stuck.  What started as a way for family and friends to get together and celebrate that she beat her life expectancy and smash away the fears the disease tried to cripple them with, has become a fundraiser to help fund Mesothelioma Awareness.

This past year’s event saw 75 people (more than just family and friends) in attendance and over $4,500 raised to fund awareness.

A few weeks ago Cameron Von St. James contacted me through this blog and asked if I would be willing to help get the word out about this Annual event in the hopes that next year will be even better than this year.

Lung Leaving Day Event February 2nd, 2014

How could I say no?

The hope is that more people will know about this form of cancer and realize that it’s not just something old men get, that it’s not just something in a legal ad you see on TV.

This is real! Real people get it, men, women, and children.  Young and old.  Like all forms of cancer it does not discriminate against age, race, or religion.

Mesothelioma needs to be recognized, It needs to be researched. It needs, like all forms of cancer, to be eradicated.  And it all starts with awareness.

To learn more about the Von St. James family and the Lung Leaving Day Event please visit the links below.

Cameron Von St. James Blog

Lung Leavin’ Day 2014

Wouldn’t it be nice, if in our generation, we could see cancer cured?


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