Lung Leavin’ Day

Recently I was contacted by a man named Cameron Von St. James. Cameron had read my blog gave me a few nice words and requested that I email him because he had a question for me. This caught my attention. At first I was quite sure it was a scam. The email gave me some info about his wife and her battle with cancer with a link for me to click on. My first instinct was to delete the email but something told me to click the link and so I did.

Before I tell you about Heather I would like to share my story first. My grandfather was one of the hardest working men I have ever known. He was an insulation worker and laid asbestos for many years before anyone knew how harmful asbestos was. When I was a teenager my grandfather was diagnosed with Mesothelioma. This is defined as a rare form of cancer that develops from cells of the mesothelium, the protective lining that covers many of the internal organs of the body. Mesothelioma is most commonly caused by exposure to asbestos. My grandfather survived for several years but the disease eventually won the war it waged on his body.

That brings me to Heather Von St. James. Heather was 36yrs old and just had a little girl a few months before she was diagnosed with Mesothelioma. Heather’s father was a construction worker and when she was a little girl she liked to wear her fathers jacket. Little did she know but the jacket was covered with asbestos. Heather was given 15 months to live.  Heather was determined not to give up and it paid off. Heather had surgery to remove one of her lungs. Heather’s sister nicknamed her surgery Lung Leavin’ Day. It has been 8yrs since she had her lung removed. To this day Heather and her family celebrate Lung Leavin’ Day as a day about overcoming your fears. Her family and friends get together and write all of their fears on plates and smash them in a fire. Last year more than 75 people celebrated Lung Leavin’ Day and together they raised over $4,500.  Lung Leavin’ Day is February 2, 2014.  The Von St. James family isn’t asking for money. They are asking for your attention so they can raise awareness of this horrible disease. Check out Heather’s story at

I would personally like to thank Cameron and Heather for contacting me. Your story is a true inspiration to others. I wish you and your family the best.


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