Not only is it #FollowFriday for Jennifer Windrum, it’s her birthday.
So first things first…
I first met Jennifer when she was creating WTF for Lung Cancer? (Where’s the Funding…and maybe the other meaning, too), to bring attention to the #1 cancer killer in the U.S. It’s also the least funded.
Her mom, Leslie Lehrman, has never smoked, but she has stage IV lung cancer, which is inoperable and incurable.
Yep. You read that right. She’s never smoked. In fact, 80 percent of new lung cancer cases are diagnosed in patients who have NEVER smoked or in former smokers who quit decades ago.
As part of WTF Lung Cancer, Jennifer looked to her mom for inspiration. She found NoMo and Phoenix, the sock monkeys who go back and forth to chemo visits, scans, and hospital stays and soon created prototypes of the pair.
NoMo and Phoenix were the start of “Sock Monkeys Against Cancer,” which SMACs cancer every step of the way. It also fundraises and gives a sock monkey to someone who has cancer. You buy one and a second is gifted. It’s that easy!
More importantly, though, is Jennifer’s mom is losing her battle with cancer.
Not only has she been tirelessly creating a new organization to build awareness of and provide funding for research of lung cancer, she’s working with her mom to plan her memorial service and funeral.
This is truly amazing to me and speaks to what a strong person she is. If you’re a consistent reader of this blog, you know how much I adore my mom. So I cannot imagine being in Jennifer’s shoes. It breaks my heart and makes me wildly impressed…all at once.
In honor of Jennifer’s birthday and of her mom, Leslie, I ask you to do a few things: Like the SMAC Facebook page so you are updated as the campaign grows, subscribe to WTF, Lung Cancer?, and wish Jennifer a happy birthday!