Jen and Matt with their children

By Matt Cipriani

Jen and I created an enviable life together. Together, we traveled the world, enjoyed professional success, and thrived as parents to our two young children. Then one night, after she finished a long shift as an anesthesiologist, a surgeon friend of hers insisted on giving her an X-ray to investigate a persistent cough. She certainly didn’t suspect that there was a tumor lurking in my lung, waiting to wreak havoc on our life. Jen never smoked and was 44.

On February 9, 2018, my wife, Dr. Jennifer Zannini-Cipriani was diagnosed with metastatic lung cancer.

Since Jen was a doctor, she knew what this diagnosis meant. She understood that, realistically, chronic disease and lifelong treatment would be her best case scenario. She knew that she needed to find a doctor who was willing to do absolutely everything possible to prolong her survival, treat this disease as aggressively as possible. We needed her to be here for many years and raise our children.

For us, nothing else mattered except being alive. If her chances could at all be increased by having the primary tumor removed, that’s what we’d do. She’d fight for her life, and she needed a team of doctors who’d see her will to live and her strength and determination to fight and be willing to fight right alongside her.

That brings us to the reason why we established Project Breathing Hope. Once we had exhausted all the stages of grief, Jen realized she had two choices: she could surrender and allow herself to keep spiraling down into a deep, dark hole of depression and hopelessness, or she could take positive, proactive steps that could hopefully make a difference for everyone who will suffer and die from this disease.

Learn more about Breathing Hope at this link.

So, she decided to make the unknown amount of time left as meaningful as possible. Jen knew that sharing her story would help others feel that they are not alone. Jen’s belief in science and modern medicine gave her hope and continues to myself hope as I work to support LCRF’s efforts in funding research. Jen was optimistic that the hard work of brilliant scientists and medical researchers will lead to the discovery of effective, long-lasting treatments.

Jen passed away just short of three years later after she was diagnosed. I continue to honor Jen’s memory by raising awareness while working to rewrite the future of lung cancer treatment through funding medical research.”

Matt talks about their journey in the video below.

Memories of Jen