Sharing Our Stories

Lung Cancer Vigil Rallies Survivors, Honors Lost Loved Ones

Two lung cancer survivors from the James Graham Brown Cancer Center were featured speakers at the 2012 Lung Cancer Vigil held at Slugger Field on Thursday, November 15.

Rhonda Raley and Deborah Oliver (seen here at the vigil with Dawne Gee in center)  both told stories of pain and tribulation; but ultimately their stories are full of triumph and hope.

In 2006, Deborah Oliver came all the way from Las Vegas to the JGBCC with Stage Four lung cancer and with little hope of recovery.  But at the JGBCC, she found hope and is not only surviving – but thriving.  Click here to see more of Deborah’s inspirational story.

Rhonda Raley was the very first patient to be screened with the new Low-Dose CT Lung Scan offered by the JGBCC to help with early detection of lung cancer. In Rhonda’s case, it saved her life as her lung cancer was diagnosed before she even had symptoms.  The disease was able to be arrested before it could grow or spread.  Click here to see a moving video of Rhonda’s story.

More than 100 people attended the 4th Annual Lung Cancer Vigil event, which was held by the Lung Cancer Alliance and sponsored by University Hospital/James Graham Brown Cancer Center. The vigil recognized and celebrated survivorship as well as honoring those who have lost their battle with lung cancer.

Event emcee Dawne Gee rallied attendees with a message of three simple words – Compassion, Hope, and Progress.

Colette McCoy of the Lung Cancer Alliance urged audience members to make a difference and get involved in the battle against lung cancer, a disease that is continually underfunded despite the fact that it kills more Kentuckians every year than the next six common cancers combined.

The Lung Cancer Mortality Act is a bill pending in congress that has the full support of Kentucky Congressman John Yarmuth.  It is the first legislation to provide comprehensive funding for lung cancer research and awareness in the state of Kentucky, a state that unfortunately leads the nation in lung cancer deaths.

To find out more about this legislation, or to explore other ways you can advocate for lung cancer research and awareness, visit The Lung Cancer Alliance website.

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