Lung Cancer Survivor
At the ripe young age of 13, Victoria found herself breathless after walking up a flight of stairs. “I thought I was so out of breath because I needed more exercise,” Victoria explained. In reality, Victoria’s lung had collapsed and would collapse twice more in her life.
Then, right before her 23rd birthday, Victoria received a diagnosis of stage III spindle-cell sarcoma of the lung, a rare and aggressive disease that occurs in just 0.3-1.3% of all lung malignancies. “To me, it didn’t matter what story the statistics were saying about this disease,” she shared. In that moment, all Victoria could think about was her 5-year old son and how she was going to explain to him what she was going through. “I decided right then and there that I would tell him that Mom is going to be a survivor.”
After undergoing surgery to remove most of her right lung followed by months of chemotherapy and radiation treatment, Victoria received the good news that she was cancer free.
Victoria has since been vocal about her journey, and first shared her story at LCRF’s 2018 Philadelphia Free to Breathe Walk. “Through my treatments, I began to realize how bright a future is becoming possible for people with this disease,” she observed. “New discoveries keep happening thanks to the amazing research being conducted. If I could share one thing with you, it would be how thankful I am that there are people willing to listen. Together we can cultivate each other’s milestones of hope."