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Do you have lungs? You can get lung cancer, too

I am Terri Ann DiJulio and, as you may already know, lung cancer has really impacted my life in a huge way. I am one of five family members diagnosed with this disease, and only one of two who has survived. Three years ago, when I was diagnosed for the second time, I decided enough was enough and looked into how my voice and my family’s story could help improve outcomes for others.

After watching so many people I love suffer from lung cancer, I knew I needed to do something to help. Even though advances have been made, more needs to be done to make sure that the next generation of my family, my niece, has more and better options.

And that’s how my lung cancer advocacy started. In the past three years, I have:

  • Raised more than $50,000 for lung cancer research and patient care, due to the generosity of family and friends

  • Had the privilege of speaking on Capitol Hill to help impact legislation and federal funding

  • Acted as a consumer reviewer for the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs’ Lung Cancer Research Program for the Department of Defense.

  • Shared my story with various reporters including the Wall Street Journal.

I’ve seen firsthand how underfunded and stigmatized lung cancer is. Two of my family members who passed away at the hands of lung cancer had never picked up a cigarette in their lives -- and that’s not as uncommon as you might think.

Raising the bar, because the stakes are so high.

I’ve recently had the privilege of celebrating my 59th birthday. For my 60th year of life, I’ve decided to raise $60,000 for GO2 Foundation for Lung Cancer, the world’s leading organization dedicated to saving, extending and improving the lives of those with lung cancer. These funds will support the organization’s research, patient care and legislative work.

I’m doing this to educate, destigmatize, raise money and work toward a healthier future for all of us.

Throughout the year, I’ll be hosting events and sharing my story to raise awareness (and yes, much-needed money). Check back often to get word on upcoming events (some will be lots of fun and not all will be gloomy, I promise).

If you have lungs, you can get lung cancer. Together, we are stronger.

With love and gratitude,

Terri Ann

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