A woman who was all to her husband died today of lung cancer. A non-smoker, Dana Reeve was diagnosed with cancer last August. She is remembered best for having fought for better treatments and possible cures for paralysis through the Christopher Reeve Foundation, named for her late actor-husband.
A story on MSNBC tells just how people who don't smoke sometimes get lung cancer. This is a quote from the article :
"Like Reeve, widow of 'Superman' star Christopher Reeve, 1 in 5 women diagnosed with the disease never lit a cigarette, doctors say. Yet they share an unfortunate stigma with cancer patients who smoked.
'The underlying assumption is, you were a smoker and you caused this, therefore youâ€™re not going to get my sympathy,' said Tom Labrecque Jr., who started a foundation to raise awareness after his nonsmoker father died several years ago of the disease."
No one deserves cancer and one hopes that a 44 year old non-smoker will help people realize that not everyone who has lung cancer got it from their behavior...
In my family there were/are a lot of smokers. My father died in 1997 of pneumonia, after a heartattack, surgery and a broken hip. My DH said his smoking probably had a lot to do with it. Maybe, but "they" say genetics has a lot to do with cancer. My grandfather, who smoked incessantly and lived on fried bacon after my grandmother passed away, lived to be 86. He possibly had prostate cancer, although he didn't tell anyone about a diagnosis he received after blood in urine. My mother and my father both had skin cancers - removed and no harm done. And I believe my grandmother may have had colon cancer - she had a colostomy. But none of the cancer in my blood relations killed them. And behavior didn't "give" them cancer. I am always afraid they'll come up with something new to "cause" cancer, since they can't seem to find a cause that's endemic to all.
Any way, Chris and Dana are together again, sadly enough, for no cures came quickly enough to help them.
Donations to the Christopher Reeve Foundation as a memorial to Dana can be made by clicking the link. A cancer foundation that got good ratings from Charity Navigator, which gives reliable data on America's charities, is this one - Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.