I was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer in March of 2013 at the age of 43 years old. I have NSCLC, Adenocarcinoma, with the BRAF V600e mutation. I am a 3rd generation lung cancer patient. My mother and grandmother both died of lung cancer. At the time of diagnosis, there were no treatments in lung cancer for BRAF. My options at the time where chemo. I did 6 rounds of Carboplatin, Alimta and Avastin, then another 6 of Alimta and Avastin. I was able to take a “chemo break” for the next 12 months. In 2015, I had mild progression and was then able to go on trial for a BRAF combo of Dabrafinib and Trametinib. I stayed on the trial for 2.5 years until side effects removed me from the trial. I then went back on Alimta maintenance for another 12 rounds and again went on another “chemo break”. In April of 2020, I again had progression and did 10 rounds of radiation and started back on Alimta maintenance and am currently still on this treatment plan.
I am a wife, mother and grandmother. I am an Advocate. I enjoy spending time with family and friends, crafting, taking photographs and getting in small vacations whenever I can.
In between and during treatments I do the following:
Lung Force Detroit Walk (Team Pickworth) | Detroit, MI
• Started Team Pickworth for the Annual Lung Force Detroit Walk 2014-present. We walk to raise money and awareness for Lung Cancer research.
American Lung Association Patient Advisory Group
• Serve in an advisory role to the American Lung Association on aforementioned charges.
• Serve on the ALA Local Leadership board.
• Imerman Angels puts Mentors with similar experience to newly diagnosed patients together for support. Since becoming a mentor, I have been matched with 3 patients to help support them in any way they need with there diagnosis.
Livelung.org | Garden City, MI
• Livelung puts support groups in states for lung cancer patients and caregiver who want to meet and get together monthly. I lead this group on the first Tuesday of every month.
• Livelung also put hope totes in hospitals and support groups for newly diagnosed lung cancer patients. This hope tote has valuable resources to help a newly diagnosed patient navigate the diagnoses and get the help they need in a trying time.
• Member of IASLC since 2019 on the patient side.
Michigan Lung Cancer Group | Facebook, MI
• Admin-Founder For our Michigan online support group for Lung Cancer Patients and Caregivers making support available for the patients that do not want to meet in person.
• Founder of BRAF Bombers a Lung Cancer for Patients and caregivers that have the BRAF mutation with the purpose of sharing information on treatments and side effects we have with the drugs we are on.
Group Moderator Lungevity BRAF group
• Group Moderator for the Lungevity Braf Facebook Group