Survival rates are now higher for some cancers that used to be deadly. But lung cancer continues to be one of the most deadly cancers, with survival rates among the lowest of all cancers. What makes this harder to bear is knowing today that lung cancer is preventable.
When I was growing up, my own father had serious smoking habit, but as a child of the seventies, I didn’t know his habit could have killed him. Thankfully, by the time I grew up and knew how fatal his habit could have been, he had made his first efforts to give up, and eventually kicked the habit (although not without it leaving its mark on his health, and my sister’s – they both have asthma as a result of his smoking). I am lucky that my father survived, but it could have been a different story for me and my siblings. We could so easily have lost our father, like, Pat who wrote this poignant account of her father’s death:
“I was 19 when he was diagnosed with lung cancer and 20 when he died. If I had known how smoking was going to steal Dad’s years from all of us, I would have tossed every pack I found. I wish I had known then that buying his cigarettes wasn’t an act of love, but that refusing to do so would have been. Somewhere, I know there are young people who will read this and are willing to make a difference in a friend or family member’s life. I hope they see this as a testimony from someone who was once their age and watched a loved one die a painful death from a preventable cancer. Maybe my dad’s story will give them the courage to take the cigarettes away.”
Maybe you recognise yourself in Pat’s story? Maybe you too have lost a loved one to a smoking related disease.
You can help others by sharing your story.
By taking part in a series of short films that show what it means to lose a partner, friend or family member before their time as a result of smoking, your story could save a life – by giving other smokers a new perspective on the damage that smoking can do. And a new reason to quit.
If you, or someone you know, would be willing to take part, then please email email@example.com or call Jackie on 089 4134741.