Lung Disease Event Raises Awareness and Raises Hope in Springfield

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They were fascinated by the different colors and learned a valuable lesson. When asked what smoking could do to his lungs, Reid pointed out and replied “Turn it into this” – pointing to black lungs, something both cousins ​​said. that they wanted to avoid.

Springfield lung cancer survivors who beat the disease with local care shared their stories, including Beverly Mettert, 80. She was first diagnosed in 2003 and was motivated to start doing things she loved again like water skiing on Buck Creek, something she did last summer.

“Thank goodness I’m doing well thanks to the people at the cancer center,” she said wearing a white ribbon pin signifying lung cancer awareness.

Ernest Higgenbotham has been cancer free for six years and was surrounded by his family. Although he uses an oxygen tank, every breath he can take is precious and he credits the help to the faith, the cure, and the thought that he would always be there to help.

“Stop that!” is his advice to smokers.

Guest speakers included State Senator Niraj Antani, who is deputy chairman of the state Senate health committee and spoke about working to tackle this and other state-level health issues. , and the Mayor of Springfield Warren Copeland.

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Copeland shared that his family members were heavy smokers who suffered health issues as a result and how grateful he was that his pipe only lasted three days.

“We have wonderful doctors here and we thank them for their service. The message is clear: we have good doctors, but we encourage people not to smoke so they don’t have to see them, ”said Copeland.

The event was supported by a grant from the Gala of Hope Foundation, which is dedicated to helping fight all forms of cancer in 14 counties. It was the first intentional grant to fight lung cancer, and the foundation’s executive director, Jeff Brock, was happy to see the results.

“Education and early treatment are the keys. That’s why we wanted to partner with Mercy Health and Dr Neravetla, ”he said.

One of the highlights of the event was to gather in front of the inflatable lungs where participants took glowing pens to turn on a light in tribute to those affected by lung cancer. While this is a beautiful moment, Neravetla would prefer a time when you never have to do it again.

“We have the start of a great story here. Everyone is a hero just by being here. But we have to get to be happy forever to change history. “

For more information on lung cancer screenings, contact the Mercy Health Springfield Cancer Center.

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