SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 2, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Natalie DiMarco is on a mission: to get the attention of First Lady Michelle Obama, Ellen DeGeneres, NBC Today Show's Natalie Morales, Howard Stern and a celebrity roster of high-profile media influencers (and the world) to stand up and pay attention to lung cancer. Almost immediately after being diagnosed with lung cancer, the North Bay, CA mother of two launched her personal campaign to beat the disease, and to tweet to get the attention of media influencers and proactively spread the word. She's also focused on improving all aspects of her life, both physical and emotional.
She tweets the media stars with a heart-tugging message that includes a photo of her five and three-and-a-half-year-old daughters, Nicole and Megan: "Here are my two beauties promoting awareness for me, a non-smoker lung cancer survivor at age 34." https://twitter.com/NatDiMarco/status/227975423445827585/photo/1
DiMarco is bringing her team of supporters – Team Natalie, to the "Frys.com Open," Oct. 8-14, 2012 at CordeValle Golf Club, in San Martin, California. Frys.com has been a strong supporter of the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation (BJALCF), which has been earmarked as the featured charity on Oct. 13th at the tournament. The foundation has been a lifeline to DiMarco and her family since her diagnosis.
For DiMarco, a non-smoker, the mission to spread awareness about lung cancer is personal and passionate. In March 2010, on her daughter's first birthday, and after months of numerous doctors misdiagnosing her constant cough and inability to catch her breath, she was dealt a bitter blow: Stage IV lung cancer. "It took me a long, long time and several different doctors and two biopsies before I was diagnosed properly," she said. "My first thought after hearing the news, was what was going to happen to my daughters?" My next thought was: "OK what do we have to do?"
Today she is determined to fight the disease and help the 1.6 million people who will be diagnosed worldwide with lung cancer this year. Only 15.5 percent will survive. She is determined to quadruple the survival rate.
"We need an army behind us to let the world know what lung cancer patients face and to get the medical community to start aggressively diagnosing and treating this cancer fast," she says. "Lung cancer is an epidemic and I believe we need to rally and do whatever we can to spread the word about how many people this disease is hurting."
DiMarco is making an impact. For two years in a row she has brought together Team Natalie at the BJALCF San Francisco 5ks in Golden Gate Park and with about 100 team members each year, she has raised nearly $45,000 so far.
"We are thrilled to be the featured charity of the Frys.com Open," said Bonnie J. Addario, founder of BJALCF and 7-year survivor. "Natalie hopes through telling her story that everyone will be encouraged to speak up about lung cancer and not be afraid of the stigma. She gives a powerful voice to all lung cancer patients, especially those diagnosed so young. It shows we are standing up to fight this disease–an epidemic, and together we can bring hope home. You can join Natalie in the fight against lung cancer by participating with us in Fry's.com Open."
Currently Natalie is being treated at the Stanford Cancer Clinic and has undergone 39 cycles of chemotherapy – distributed every three weeks. She is also receiving an aggressive Eastern energy-healing regimen at Wu's Healing Center that includes: meditation, organ massage, yoga, herbs, breathing techniques, eating local organic foods and removing the upsetting drama in her life. It has been vital to her progress that she is part of the treatment team with her doctors and they all collaborate with each other.
Key to her treatment is the emotional support she and her mother, Teri, have received through the Bonnie J.Addario Lung Cancer Foundation. Determined to accompany and support her daughter on her journey through cancer, Natalie's mom, Teri, is a regular attendee at the foundation's monthly support group - The Lung Cancer Living Room®. The foundation connects patients, physicians, researchers and all involved in lung cancer to work collaboratively and most importantly to share the latest breakthroughs to give patients like DiMarco a voice and access to the best treatments.
"The foundation has been a godsend for me and my family," says DiMarco. "I was blessed to go all over the county and learn about cancer. I want others to realize that the foundation is the place to go for lung cancer patients. If I hadn't gone there, I wouldn't have met my doctor and learned about all the tools and techniques I am using. Other patients don't know BJALCF is the place where they can be connected to the best treatment out there."
She added: "My focus is that this cancer is a blessing. If I hadn't been diagnosed with cancer, my kids would have never learned about nutrition and how diet and exercise can play a significant role in balancing your body and in making mommy feel better again. My kids will be healthier and stronger because of all of this. "
About the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation
BJALCF is one of the largest philanthropies (patient-founded, patient-focused, and patient-driven) devoted exclusively to eradicating Lung Cancer through research, early detection, education, and treatment. The Foundation works with a diverse group of physicians, organizations, industry partners, individuals, survivors, and their families to identify solutions and make timely and meaningful change. BJALCF was established on March 6, 2006 as a 501© (3) non-profit organization.
SOURCE Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation