Gold coast mother on a mission to change the future for lung cancer
In the midst of living with advanced lung cancer, Gold Coast mother-of-two Evangeline Lim is calling on the community to help raise awareness and much-needed funding for lung cancer research by attending her Shine a Light on lung cancer walk at Sanctuary Cove, 4pm Saturday 11 March 2017.
As a fit 53-year-old woman who has never smoked, Evangeline was shocked to be diagnosed with advanced non-small cell lung cancer in 2016. With support from Lung Foundation Australia, Evangeline is on a mission to raise awareness and support for this otherwise forgotten disease, which kills more Australians than breast, prostate and ovarian cancers combined.
“My life changed in just one breath when my doctor diagnosed me with advanced lung cancer that was inoperable, incurable and terminal,” Ms Lim said.
“I live with the hope that new medical advancements will be made and that within my lifetime another ‘magic pill’ will be developed to make my life a lot longer than expected if not totally cure it.
“I am determined to make the community aware of the devastating nature of this disease. Lung cancer does affect people who have never smoked in their life.”
Lung Foundation Australia CEO, Ms Heather Allan, said many people believe if they are fit and don’t smoke, that they are invincible to the disease. The reality is one in three women and one in ten men diagnosed with lung cancer is a life-long never-smoker.
“Low public awareness and negative stereotypes associated with smoking contributes to delays in diagnosis, lack of support systems and inequitable access to research and treatment,” Ms Allan said.
“Funding for lung cancer research in Australia is woeful, particularly when we have seen survival rates for other cancers such as breast and prostate improve dramatically in the past 25 years through sustained investment in focused research.
“It is our hope that the Gold Coast community will be inspired by Evangeline’s courage and determination, and come out in numbers to support her quest either by attending the walk or donating through her online fundraising page – every little bit helps,” she said.
For details on the Shine a Light on lung cancer walk, visit: https://www.facebook.com/events/1296052677128076/
Or you can support Evangeline’s quest through her fundraising webpage: https://give.everydayhero.com/au/lung-cancer-awareness-gold-coast.
Where: Starting at Sanctuary Cove car park and walking to The Boardwalk Tavern, Hope Island. The Sanctuary Cove address is 4601 Masthead Way, Hope Island, 4212.
When: Meet at 4pm for a 5pm start.
Contact: Evangeline Lim at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Tambourine Deck at the Boardwalk Tavern is reserved for event participants where you can buy refreshments and dinner. Evangeline and her family and friends encourage everyone to stay and enjoy live music and lots of fun. Please note there will be individual payment for drinks and meals.
Lung cancer facts
- Lung cancer is Australia’s biggest cancer killer yet it receives less research and clinical trial funding than other cancers.
- During 2009-2011, lung cancer was responsible for three times as many deaths as breast cancer and received one-fifth the amount of research funding.
- While the biggest risk factor for lung cancer is exposure to tobacco smoke, one in three women and one in ten men diagnosed with lung cancer will have never smoked and this proportion has increased over time. Occupational exposure is estimated to contribute to 29% of lung cancer in men and 5.3% in women.
- The link between lung cancer and tobacco smoking, including public health campaigns to discourage smoking, has led to negative associations and attitudes about lung cancer and towards people with the disease.
- In a global survey conducted in 15 countries, Australians had the least sympathy for someone diagnosed with lung cancer, compared with other cancers, based on its association with tobacco smoking.
- Patients with lung cancer report feelings of guilt and shame, contributing to a sense that they are somehow less worthy.
- Discrimination or the fear of discrimination leads to feeling alienated, fearful or undeserving and the fear that symptoms might not be taken seriously leads to delays in seeking diagnosis and treatment.
Reference: Lung Foundation Australia, Improving outcomes for Australians with lung cancer: A Call to Action (2016) https://lungfoundation.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/LFA-improving-outcomes-report-0816-proof10.pdf