July 12th 2009, at the age of 39, and the single mother of 2 children, I was diagnosed with Stage III B Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer on my 2nd ER visit in 6 weeks due to blood clots in my leg and then my carotid artery. My first thought after my diagnosis from the ER doctor was, "Of course I do... Why wouldn't I?" I didn't say this because of smoking history, but because my grandfather died of it and my mom had been diagnosed with lung cancer 7 years earlier, in 2002. I seem to get everything my mom gets. I never really thought I could die from this because I am stubborn and I thought, if my mom could survive, so could I. She was given a 15% chance of making it to SURGERY, and almost no chance of living a year. Also, I instantly remembered how horribly sick my mom was and knew I was going to have to fight hard. As a former Jr. Olympic softball player, I learned early on that you can't go into a game thinking you may lose. You play to win or stay home. There was no time to be scared or to panic. Another lesson I learned on the field... NEVER fear your opponent... Respect your opponent. Most importantly, Make the play, cry later! If hurt on the field, you make the play and cry later. I was about to fight to win my own personal World Series... the fight for my life. If I didn't win this one, not only would my season be over, but there wouldn't be a next one. I was told I had about a 35% chance of making it to remission and approximately 5% chance of living 5 years. Because I didn't let those statistics intimidate me, I just celebrated 8 yrs from diagnosis this summer. I learned a lot about lung cancer and cancer in general since my diagnosis. When I learned how it kills more people than the next 3 cancers COMBINED, and how grossly underfunded lung cancer research is when compared to those other cancers, I realized why I survived... To help others on their cancer journey to their future with or after cancer. I have gotten involved with a few Lung Cancer organizations to be an Advocate in many facets of advocacy. I work with patients, survivors and caregivers as a lifeline support partner through organizations and through mutual friends/acquaintances to help them on their path, I raise awareness and crucial funding for lung cancer research, and constantly trying to eradicate the damaging stigma and change the face of this devastating disease. I met the love of my life about 3 yrs after my diagnosis, he proposed at a Breathe Deep Lung Cancer Walk in April of 2016 and exchanged vows July 16th that same year, proving there IS life after a lung cancer diagnosis. Unfortunately, my mom died 7 weeks after my wedding, 14 yrs after her original diagnosis. She went 12 years cancer free before it came back. She beat it again but a year later it returned and she ran out of time Sept. 4th 2016. For quite sometime, I felt as though I am "cured", but seeing what happened to my mom... I am constantly worrying about it coming back. Lung cancer has taken 2 out of 3 of us in my family, but I won't let it take me! I need help to raise funding for research... it seems to run in my family and we need more targeted therapies and early detection to save the lives from the #1 Cancer killer of both men and women, regardless of smoking history. I am participating in the Super Bowl Challenge in Memory of my mom, my grandfather, and all who have run out of time , and in hope for all of my brother and sister warriors. GAME ON!! Will you help me make the play?