Storytellers: Terri Ann DiJulio, joined by members of the Go2Foundation
· Passcode: XN5G7+Cz
All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.
Terri Ann opened her story with a question. What if we viewed life as a ride? Through her experiences with lung cancer, a stroke, loss and love, Terri Ann has been brought to a beautiful place. With survivorship comes a profound sense of responsibility.
Her words of advice have been with me since last night.
SAY YES TO EVERYTHING
LIVE THE HELL OUT OF YOUR LIFE
More information on lung cancer can be found on the Go2Foundation website. If you are interested in contributing to Terri Ann’s Campaign, here is the link: www.60forsixty.com
Night Out With Meaning is sponsored and hosted by harp-weaver LLC.
When you meet Terri Ann DiJulio, words like vivacious and fit come to mind. You wouldn’t know the words “two-time lung cancer and stroke survivor” also apply. But they do, and her perseverance over these massive health challenges are evidence that the term “warrior” is also a fit.
In line with her triumphant spirit, Terri Ann is now taking on a new battle: advocate and fundraiser. After seeing firsthand how lung cancer is underfunded and stigmatized, she spoke on Capitol Hill to help impact legislation and federal funding related to the disease. And now, to celebrate her 60th birthday, Terri Ann has developed and is promoting a yearlong “60forSixty” campaign to raise $60,000 for the GO2 Foundation for Lung Cancer. These funds will be dedicated to supporting GO2’s mission of saving, extending and improving the lives of those with lung cancer through research, support and education, and policy advocacy.
Terri Ann’s health journey began nearly 17 years ago with an unexpected and accidental diagnosis of lung cancer. After her physician team monitored her for two years, she endured the removal of the lower right lobe of her lung as well as a portion of the upper right lobe. She was diagnosed a second time in August 2016 and received radiation.
Her lung cancer diagnosis was not Terri Ann’s only brush with the disease. She is a member of a multi-generational lung cancer family, with five relatives being diagnosed and Terri Ann being the only survivor. Her stroke two years ago, and her brother’s sudden death at 56 from a heart attack, added to the unimaginable trials she has faced over the years.
But all of this has just made Terri Ann stronger. She believes with survivorship and the “privilege of aging” comes a deep sense of responsibility to do something positive with what she calls the “gift of my beautiful life.”
Now, while she works to improve the lives of other lung cancer patients through her fundraising and advocacy, she faces another challenge in COVID-19. Like all those who fought or are fighting lung cancer, with her compromised lungs, Terri Ann is more susceptible to contracting the virus. She’s careful to social distance, but that can present obstacles to fundraising. Yet she’s not letting that stop her. She is making great use of social media, online fundraising retail shows, and email blasts to help people understand that although this is a tough time to fundraise, lung cancer is not under shutdown – so neither is she. And her approach worked! She has surpassed the goal of her “60forSixty” campaign, raising more than $75,000.
Terri Ann sums up her lung cancer, fundraising and COVID-19 challenges by relating a story. Recently, she and a good friend were cycling when they were faced with climbing a mountain to get to the ocean. With compromised lungs, Terri Ann feared she would not make it to the top. But she soon realized “the mountain was so intimidating because I was only looking at the mountain. By taking it on 15 minutes at a time, I no longer stood afraid in its massive shadow and I slowly conquered it. I am reminded that on days when it all feels insurmountable, to perhaps take on my latest “mountain” the same way…15 minutes at a time.” When it comes to any peak Terri Ann has in her sights, we’re certain she’ll make it to the top.
For more information about Terri Ann’s fundraising campaign and to donate, please visit www.60forsixty.com.