Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Lung Leavin' Day 2014

I am super excited to share with you this warrior queen / be brave / face your fears story with you today!!

As some of you may know, in February 2006, my cousin Gregory, died of complications after beating cancer several times. His nickname was Sunshine and I have a few tattoos for him, along with his smile tattooed on my soul. This kid was always happy, and always hopeful. You can read more about his story here.

I am sure he was also completely terrified.

Also, in February 2006, something amazing happened. Heather Von Saint James - diagnosed with mesothelioma shortly after the birth of her daughter - had her lung removed. She had been given 15 months to live and this year, she celebrated her 8th Lung Leavin' Day with her family and friends.

Heather and Cameron with their daughter Lily [photo courtesy of Cameron Von St James]

You may have read about Lung Leavin' Day on a few other blogs on February 2, when they celebrated. I was very happy to be contacted about this - even after the fact - because the message means so much to me.

Lung Leavin' Day is about facing your fears.  

The purpose of LungLeavin’ Day 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! 

Heather had to face her deepest fears on that day 8 years ago..and she overcame them. Their celebration of fears and facing them is inspiring and the therapeutic way of breaking dishes are amazing. In the past, I have done something similar at a place in San Diego. This location has closed, but the original WQs and I have hopes and plans to open another one some day.

Each year, Lung Leavin' Day grows to include more people, and now it also includes a fundraiser for mesothelioma awareness. In 2013, 75 people attended and raised around $4,500. They have not yet released how much they raised this year.

While Lung Leavin' Day has passed, you can still donate to mesothelioma awareness and celebrate facing your fears. Head over to the interactive website they built to metaphorically smash some plates into a fire.

Lung Leavin' Day 2014

What do you fear? Do you know anyone diagnosed with mesothelioma?

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  1. This is just a great thing!!! Loved reading about this!

  2. This is so cool! I love that she has turned her experience into a network and something that will help others along the way! She rocks!

  3. I hadn't heard of this before- love finding out about new ways to help! Awareness is so important. Thanks for sharing :)


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