Surpassing the Odds with Gratitude

Greetings, friends, family and supporters! Thank you for your encouragement and support over the past three plus years. I’m thrilled to report I’ve surpassed my ‘best before date’ of three years of life expectancy. I’m forever grateful for recent scientific advances in biomarker testing and targeted therapy  – a less toxic, more personalized treatment plan for advanced-stage lung cancer. Thank you to Sunnybrook’s Drs. Alexander Louie, David Hwang, Ambika Parmar, and their outstanding team of specialists.

Raising lung cancer awareness and fundraising for Sunnybrook are my top priorities.   Once again,  the ‘Crush it with Bev’ for Sunnybrook Lung Cancer golf event was a resounding winner.  The ‘Crush it with Bev’ campaign raised $150,000 for a research project on liquid biopsy, a specialized test to detect cancer in the blood. This research will help Ontarians facing a sobering lung cancer diagnosis.

‘Crush it with Bev’ is not stopping. Buoyed by our success, with cumulative fundraising of over $325,000, plans are underway for 2023. As a valued member of my extended team, I promise to keep you in the loop.

Helping You and Your Loved Ones
November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month. Lung cancer is the leading killer among all cancer types in Canada, partly because most diagnoses are at advanced stages. Unfortunately, uneven access to lung cancer screening means too many Canadians don’t get a potentially lifesaving, early diagnosis because screening is not available.

How to be vigilant:

  • Anyone can get lung cancer. Look for subtle symptoms. Consider shortness of breath, excessive coughing, abnormal fatigue, unexplained weight loss, and blood in sputum. Be proactive. Contact your doctor and be persistent; don’t let busy professionals overlook subtle yet potentially life-threatening symptoms.
  • Check your house for radon.  High levels in your home are potentially harmful. Worth the modest investment.
  • If you’re over 50 and have a smoking history (past or current), notify your doctor and ask if you are eligible for Ontario’s Lung Screening Program for High-Risk individuals. There are four screening sites, although more are needed to serve the population adequately. Unfortunately, there are no screening sites for non-smokers.
  • Cancer risk rises with age. If you smoke, join a smoking cessation program and do your utmost to quit. It’s tough, but could save your life.

Positive news
During my routine September CT scan, three small areas of new growth were found in my lungs. My oncologist and Sunnybrook’s lung cancer radiation specialist, Dr. Alexander Louie, scheduled a specialized radiation called Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SRBT). It’s precise, does less damage to nearby tissue, and will eliminate the emerging cancer cells resistant to my targeted therapy. This treatment is now complete and I feel fine. The December CT scan will monitor my progress. Radiation science and technology are fascinating, and I’m grateful, yet again, to be a recipient of this life-extending process.

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