I will never forget when my friend told me that she was suffering from Lam or its real name “Lymphangioleiomyomatosis”
We stood on the shore of Lake Michigan a warm summer evening of 2010. I was about to travel back to Sweden for 4 weeks when she explained she suffered from LAM, a rare type of lung cancer that destroys the lungs and makes it harder for the oxygen to enter into the blood stream. Oxygen therapy will help stabilizing the oxygen-blood levels although eventually a lung transplant is evident.
I was heartbroken, confused and angry and there was nothing I could do so this is why I am running the 1/2 marathon…I’m running for my friend and her life!
This is her story!
The year was 2004 and she just had her first son and had decide to get back to exercising. This was nothing new to her as she had always played soccer and always been living a healthy lifestyle. You know, that comes with being an athlete.
So when she started working-out she noticed a strange cough during exertion, she dismissed it as being out of shape after the pregnancy and went along with her normal life. Shortly after, she was excited to learn that she was pregnant again. When she tried to return to normal activity after the birth of her second son, she developed shortness of breath, coughing that produced blood, and severe abdominal pain just like a knife was stabbing her over and over again. One of these episodes landed her in the Emergency Room six months after her second son was born.
She was told she had LAM and leaving the doctor’s office, the first thing she did was google LAM. She learned that her “new disease – LAM” had a life expectancy of 8-10 years with no treatment or cure and she had a new born and a toddler at home! It was then that she was faced with the fact that she had a rare disease and that it would be a rough road ahead.
I’ve seen my friend doing really well but I have also seen her really sick and this is nothing I would wish upon anyone. The LAM foundation has done an amazing job researching and have come a long way since I met my her. They have found a drug that stabilizes LAM but it is not a treatment.
As scientists continue to find similarities between unconnected diseases, we know that successful research in LAM has led to discoveries that impact diabetes, heart disease and other cancers. I am raising money to increase awareness for LAM and to support the successful and tireless efforts of the LAM Foundation. I am running this marathon for my friend and for the over 3,000 women worldwide who have LAM and can’t run their own race.
Here is the link to support the cause every penny, krona, pesos counts, thank you!