Friday, January 30, 2015

LungLeavin' Day: Putting a face to a big, scary word

If you're like me, the word "mesothelioma" was just something you heard in attorney's commercials on television and radio.

I knew that it was a cancer commonly assoicated with exposure to asbestos, but that was about it.

Then I got an e-mail the other day from a man named Cameron Von St. James, whose wife Heather (pictured left), actually has mesothelioma.

Cameron asked me and other bloggers to help publicize Lung Leavin' Day, coming up February 2nd.

In Heather's words:

"Nine years ago, I had my lung removed. I was more afraid than I’d ever been in my life. To try and lighten the situation, my sister nicknamed my surgery Lung Leavin’ Day. The name stuck, and now we celebrate it every year."

The celebration has become an opportunity to raise money to raise awareness about mesothelioma.  Over $7000 has been raised so far.

Says Cameron: "The purpose of this holiday is to encourage others to face their fears. Each year, we gather around a fire in our backyard with our friends and family, write our biggest fears on a plate and smash them into the fire. We celebrate for those who are no longer with us, for those who continue to fight, for those who are currently going through a tough time in their life, and most importantly, we celebrate life!"

When Cameron reached out to me and many other bloggers to help, it was my chance to put a face to a word I'd only heard in passing before.  I hope this post will do the same for you.

Heather's not out of the woods.  She lives with fears about what mesothelioma will ultimately mean for her and her family, but she's a survivor and obviously a strong, determined woman with a deep faith in God.

To find out more about Heather's journey, go here and here.

For more about mesothelioma, go here,

"Frankly, God is the one who gives me tremendous peace. I find that prayer and reading His word, writing scriptures that speak to me, and keeping them in a little notebook for my use is a way for me to keep grounded.
With Lungleavin Day coming up, the opportunity is here to write our fears on a plate and smash them into the fire, I’m going to once again take control of my emotions and overcome. I know I have the power to do it; sometimes it is just making the choice to do so."--Heather Von St. James


Susan said...

Thank you for enlightening us. The condition has only been a class action suit commercial on tv up until right now. There is a face now.

Tara Ulrich said...

Thank you for sharing Heathers journey with us!

Unknown said...

You're so kind to share other's journey here!

Becky @ said...

What a gift to share your platform for a sister in Christ you've never met. Surely God is using Heather's story and this place to shine a light on His goodness and grace.

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