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Jessica Darrenkamp's Fundraiser:

Jessica and the ALK-aholics

Jessica's Photo
Jessica's Photo
Jessica's Photo


EVENT: 2018 Super Bowl Challenge

EVENT DATE: Nov 01, 2017

Jessica Darrenkamp


In January of this year I was called back for the results of my bronchoscopy after battling a persistent and debilitating cough for the previous 3 months. Being 36, generally healthy and constantly answering the “do you smoke” question with the same ol’ “no, never”, my husband and I never expected to hear I had lung cancer.

My world quickly turned upside down as we processed all the upcoming tests and possible treatment courses. It was time for a PET scan and MRI and they even suggested a mammogram to determine where else cancer had made a home in my body. That had to be the most stressful couple days of my life. I had gone from thinking I was battling a persistent case of pneumonia to imagining the possibilities of cancer beyond just my lungs. Death was the forefront of everything and the time I was going to miss with my son who was only 5 at the time.

The good news was the cancer hadn’t spread anywhere else which means we were in the minority that caught it early. This was a big relief and surgery was the route we planned to go. Remove the affected portion of the lung and hopefully we’d be good. Things were looking up.

Long story short, the day of surgery did not go as planned and there was a lot of added questions around what else was going on with my body. I was transferred to Hospital as University of Penn and we waiting to meet with my new oncologist there.

Here I am today battling lung cancer with the ALK gene mutation. This accounts for a small percentage of lung cancer cases but has a highly effective initial treatment option. I’m on a targeted therapy that has worked wonders to shrink and control the nasty genes causing trouble and as long as it continues to work things are great. The bad part is my body will build a resistance to this drug and it will no longer work, putting me in line for the next drug.

Without the support of my ALK Positive community I wouldn’t be nearly as hopeful as I am. I have begun my own fundraising adventures, bringing funds in for the LUNGevity Foundation who has graciously created a fund specifically for ALK related research. Half of the money I raise here will be given to them.

It would be amazing to win a trip to the Super Bowl. I know I’d have to raise some amazing money but with social media and connections across the country anything is possible. I would be honored to represent not only my ALK Positive family but also all the other young cancer fighters out there. Cancer can affect anyone of any age... even those of us in our 20s and 30s and lung cancer can affect anyone with lungs! Yes, even you!


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Donor Comments




In memory of my best friend Liz 2 years ago