Being a caregiver to a parent is different for everyone, but finding success is about the roles and strengths of each person.
-> Caregiver spotlight
Joy Long is committed to the fight against lung cancer and caring for her family. She is married to her husband of 11 years, Randy, and they have two sons, ages 7 and 9. Randy was diagnosed with non-small cell adenocarcinoma lung cancer with the BRAF mutation in July 2017. Joy graduated from Florida State University with a Bachelors in History and from Georgia Tech with a Master’s in International Affairs. She worked for Delta Air Lines and Delta Community Credit Union in various analytical roles for 12 years before staying at home to raise children and homeschool them. She and Randy a
Danielle (she/her) is an attorney, theatre artist, cancer patient advocate, and healthcare social media nerd. Most importantly, she is the primary caregiver for her parents. Danielle’s mother was diagnosed with Stage IV non-small-cell lung cancer in 2015. Danielle is a full-time advocate for her mother, as well as for her father, who has several chronic illnesses. Danielle serves as a Social Media Ambassador, support group co-moderator, caregiver mentor, event committee member, and blogger for LUNGevity.
Christen Gjeldum has participated and helped to raise thousands of dollars the past three years at the LUNGevity's Breathe Deep Columbia walk. She does this for her hero, her dad, Carlos Pena-Ariet, who is 68 years old. He is a three year, three month stage IV lung cancer survivor. He has also had leptomeningeal disease for the duration of his diagnosis. He is the perfect example of a fighter and a warrior. He was born in Cuba and came to this country when he was 10.
Steffanie is a lifelong Washingtonian (the State) who lives outside a small, rural town. She is married with 2 furry, 4 legged kids. While not attending concerts with her mom, telling fishing stories with her dad, or working with her husband around their property, you will find her earning money for her next adventure as a manager of local homeless programs. Her volunteer position as a moderator for LUNGevity’s Support Community forums started when her mom was diagnosed with a lung cancer recurrence in 2017.
“Gina is currently serving as the President to ALK Positive, a 1,500 member support and advocacy group that is helping extend the lives and quality of care for people living with lung cancer. Gina is a bright ball of energy and hope, caring most about others and their plight rather than just her own disease. Gina has unwavering positivity and always looks for ways around fear and limitation. She’s a person that draws respect because her inspiration comes from her heart. Gina is a loving mom, wife, and fierce advocate against the deadliest disease.
Brooke Jones is a caregiver for her mom, Suzanne, and a LUNGevity Social Media Ambassador Volunteer from Mississippi.
What support/resource do you wish would have been available in the beginning?