In 2017, Erika Hlavacek went to the hospital after a persistent cough and back pain became unbearable. She was discharged 10 days later with a Stage IV lung cancer diagnosis.

But thanks to research, she’s living her best life. After the cancer spread to her brain, she was treated with medications that had been approved less than a year before she needed them. Two drugs and three weeks later, the brain tumors were gone.

Lung cancer patient Erika Hlvacek - yEAHbestlife
Erika Hlavacek

Erika has founded a brand and nonprofit dedicated to fundraising for lung cancer research. According to the yEAHbestlife website, she was surprised during a girls’ weekend with matching shirts that said “Best Life” on them. This inspired her to design a “Live Your Best Life” themed shirt for an upcoming event. The design was so well-received that she saw potential in using shirt sales as an avenue for raising awareness and funds. The name “yEAHbestlife” includes Erika’s initials: EAH.

Her story was featured recently on NBC 5 Chicago, highlighting recent FDA approvals for lung cancer treatment.

Research is changing what it means to receive a lung cancer diagnosis. Find out how supporting research has impacted how this disease is treated, and read other patients’ stories.