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Lonnie’s story is not unique but it is significant. He was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma when he was 19 and cured. The treatment placed him at higher risk for developing lung cancer later in life.
With this knowledge, Lonnie lived a lifetime in his brief 44 years. He traveled to Japan, Hong Kong, Australia, Switzerland, India, Canada, France, Jamaica, Costa Rica, Mexico and all 50 states. He biked across several parts of the country, joined ski patrol, became an EMT, and hiked parts of the Appalachian Trail, all before settling down.
At the end of 2014, Lonnie was diagnosed with early stage non-small cell lung cancer. By the middle of 2015, his cancer was progressing and he transferred as a patient to MSKCC.
Lonnie discovered Legwork for Lungs in 2015 and made participating in the race a goal. It was the opportunity to again experience one of his passions. Lonnie loved races and the atmosphere of people joining together. His treatment at MSKCC enabled him to rally and participate in the 5K last year.
Supporting lung cancer research was especially important for Lonnie, having ridden the roller-coaster ride of positive and negative news that many cancer patients face. Lonnie was impressed by Nastassja’s mission to raise money for lung cancer research at MSKCC.
I met Lonnie at the end of 2010 and he quickly became a beloved member of our family. He was a loving partner, husband, step-father, son and true friend to the scores people who knew him. His legacy lives on in the positive influence he has had on each of our lives. Lonnie taught us many things but there is one in particular that I find very meaningful – life is meant to be lived.
Lonnie found peace from his illness in January 2016. He lived with no regrets and enjoyed each day.
Lonnie’s doctor at MSKCC, Dr. Iqbal, never let hope disappear and fought his cancer side by side with us. Without her compassion and care, we would not have had as many precious moments together with Lonnie.
Thank you Nastassja for continuing to support the important work that MSKCC does to extend patients’ lives.