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.
Yovana Maria Portillo lives in Phoenix, Arizona. In April 2016, she was a passenger in a car accident that led to an incidental discovery of a tumor on her left lung. In July 2016, she was diagnosed with NSCLC and a Mucinous Adenocarcinoma Stage IB tumor for which she underwent a lower left lobe lobectomy the same month. She lives her life as normal as can be by remaining active in her nieces, nephews, and godchildren’s lives.
Claudia Regan is a certified yoga teacher living in Florida with her husband. Two days after her 67th birthday, she underwent a chest x-ray as part of pre-ops for shoulder replacement surgery. Her PCP called her into the office the day to tell her that she had lung cancer. While she had to stop teaching yoga for about a year due to chemo and side effects, she is back to teaching again, this time virtually. Her students take her classes from all over the world. Through those classes, she raises money for LUNGevity to help people who have helped her so much throughout her journey.
Bio: Jay Bailey ran the length of Sarasota County (about 36 miles) to help raise awareness and funds for lung cancer. Jay is a native of Sarasota, Florida and has lived there all 45 years of his life except for his college years. He is married to Christy and they have 3 children: Ashley, 13, Gracie, 10 and Davis, 8. Jay has worked for over 20 years in the fire service and is currently in charge of his department’s wildfire division.
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.
I have been involved with LUNGevity Foundation since 2017 after my mom, Maureen Grippo, was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2016. The first event I participated in through LUNGevity was their Breathe Deep walk in NYC on October 27, 2018. Being involved in the walk, even though my mom was not able to be there, gave me the opportunity to make her proud one last time. My mom lost her battle to cancer in November 2018, and I will continue to be involved in LUNGevity in her memory to spread awareness, hope, and education.
The Gamper Family has been a vocal advocate and fundraiser for the LUNGevity Foundation since 2014. They lost Maria Rixey Gamper in March of 2016 and now carry on their efforts in her memory. Dick, her husband, carries her torch. Catherine, Richard, Charles, Stuart, Laura, Alice, McKee, Charlie and Jay round out her immediate family and represent two rising generations striving to make an impact in the fight against lung cancer.
How did you first get involved with LUNGevity as a fundraiser?
Dan Cadigan, MD, is a primary care physician and 6-year stage IV lung cancer survivor in Ohio. He was diagnosed with lung cancer at age 46. He has been a speaker at LUNGevity conferences and is a patient support mentor through LifeLine and an advocate for lung cancer screening. He also serves as a county coroner and is the proud father of two teenage boys.
How did you first get involved with LUNGevity as a volunteer?