Devon Higham's Fundraising Page
Soon after the New Year in 2012, my parents and I met with my surgeon for our first consultation. After months of chemo and shared hospital rooms it was finally time to cut the tumor out. He suggested we have two surgeries: one for the primary tumor and nodules in my right lung and then another later on to remove the nodules in my left lung. Naturally, we had many questions about the procedure, including the long-term effects, recovery time, and my dad famously asking the 70 year old surgeon if he had done these types of procedures before and being met with the eye roll to end all eye rolls.
In asking him about what sort of lung capacity I’d have going forward, he said that while I wouldn’t have too many long-term impacts, I’d never be where I had been before I’d become sick and that I likely “won’t be running marathons.” I’d always been pretty athletic and had always assumed that I’d try a marathon when I got older, so being the prickly teenager that I was, I, to quote the great Michael Jordan, “took that personally.”
So, this year I’ll be running the New York Marathon on behalf of the GO2 Foundation For Lung Cancer. It’s a bit surreal to realize, but this fall marks the tenth anniversary since my initial diagnosis. I’m incredibly lucky to find myself in good shape and to not have many lingering effects from my illness aside from a few larger than normal scars on my torso (soon after I recovered a lifeguard I worked with told me that I should get jacked and that the scars would look cool, but unfortunately we’ve never quite been able to make that happen). Many who go through something like this are not as lucky, and to some extent I feel like I owe it to them to put my good fortune to use. Already 16 when I was diagnosed, I was almost always the oldest person in the pediatric unit and saw up close how difficult it was for children much younger than me and how much more severe the long-term side effects could be.
Any contribution you’re able to make is immensely appreciated. I know I don’t discuss my illness with much frequency, but if anyone reads this and is curious about what it was like I’m happy to talk. I’m also happy to answer any questions about the GO2 Foundation and the work they’re doing.
Finally, I’ll be back in New York this summer and during the months approaching the race. If anyone wants to go for a run, let me know! I’m excited to use these runs to see some parts of the city I’m less familiar with and would love to have companions on my expeditions.
Looking forward to seeing everyone soon.
The GO2 Foundation for Lung Cancer is the ‘go-to’ global force serving and advocating for the needs of the entire lung cancer community.
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