AJ Patel is an eight year stage IV lung cancer survivor. Back in 2013, he was told he may not survive six months. After battling a complex craniotomy, several rounds of chemo and radiation, AJ was losing hope. Biomarker testing was not well known then, but the doctor ordered the test and it literally saved his life. Today, AJ spends all of his time outside of a full-time legal career to help others affected by this disease, advocating for Biomarker Testing and most of all, being a voice of hope. AJ lives in Southern California with his wife and college aged kids.
“Couples who have cancer together, stay together,” says Kristina Burke, a breast cancer survivor who is also primary caregiver to her husband Jim, who has stage IV EGFR lung cancer. “It’s hard to be in a family where two people have cancer. But we’re in it together and that’s what gets us through.”
After their childhood friend Jordan Christie was diagnosed with stage IV non-small cell lung cancer at the age of 25, friends Kyle, Jessica, Colin, Matt, Kellie, Julie, and Mike wanted to help. They saw first-hand how difficult living with lung cancer could be. The friends knew they could have an impact by raising money to help fund the two things that helped Jordan the most: new treatments and support programs.
Scout, MA, PhD, is LUNGevity Foundation’s second Community Champions recipient. He is the Executive Director of the National LGBT Cancer Network and the principal investigator for both the CDC-funded LGBTQ tobacco-related cancer disparity network and Out: The National Cancer Survey.
Sarah Christ was diagnosed with stage 4 lung adenocarcinoma (EGFR+) in December of 2016. After several cycles of chemotherapy, as well as radiation to six small brain metastases, she is currently thriving on targeted therapy. She lives on the beautiful east end of Long Island with her wife and children, where she can be found either in the garden or on the beach.
How did you first get involved with LUNGevity as a lung cancer advocate?
Lisa Hutter was born and raised in New York. She is a 5-year stage 1 lung cancer survivor and committee member for Breathe Deep NYC. She has spoken at several Breathe Deep NYC events. Lisa has been teaching Spanish for 21 years. When not working, Lisa and her husband Kenny enjoy traveling the world and spending time with their dogs Coalie and Max.
How did you first get involved with LUNGevity as a volunteer?
Karriem Watson, DHSc, MS, MPH, is LUNGevity Foundation’s first Community Champions recipient. He sat down with LUNGevity to discuss his career path, his passion for community engagement, and disparities in healthcare.
Tell us about your role within your organization. What led you to your current career path?
Shante N. Freckleton has participated in two Breathe Deep walks since 2018 and with her team Datsy’s GIrls, formed in honor of her mother who passed away in 2017, and has raised almost $2000 towards lung cancer awareness. Shante was born and raised in Queens, New York, where she works for American Express, while simultaneously operating her law practice, S. Freckleton Law PLLC (@sfreckletonlaw), charity, Datsy’s Girls (@datsysgirls), and serving as counsel for a local non-profit, Empower My Hood, Inc. (@emhinc).
Marty Henley is a nurse anesthetist and serves as Chief nurse Anesthetist at CAMC, managing the department of anesthesia at the medical center. In 2011, she was awarded the WV Nurse Excellence Award for Advanced Practice. Marty is very active in medical missions, serving in Haiti as an anesthetist for the last 15 years. Marty is married and has 3 children.
Chris Crane and his friends Matthew Manahan and Eyal Yakoby have pledged to complete extreme physical feats to raise money for lung cancer research through Miles for LUNGevity on December 20th, 2020. As part of the event, Matt will bike 100 miles, Chris will row a marathon, and Eyal will run a marathon. Learn more about their efforts to raise funds for research and get involved here.