By her husband, Jack
For as long as I knew her, my Annie was a fighter; she believed that it was her obligation to teach others about the disease that ultimately took her life. She joined the Lung Cancer Initiative with the strong intention of doing just that, speaking to various groups, dispersing information wherever people were willing to listen, and advocating lung health whenever she had an opportunity. She was particularly concerned about the fact that NC legislators have seen fit to use the tobacco settlement money earned several years ago for purposes other than confronting the smoking problem in NC, a major cause of lung cancer. She felt they were forgetting the reason the money was exacted from tobacco companies in the first place.
She was frustrated by the fact that lung cancer advocacy was not as well funded as the other cancer groups even though it took more lives than breast cancer, colon cancer, and prostate cancer combined. She had planned to change that if she could.
Annie was aware from the time of her diagnosis on February 28, 2012 that her life was limited, but her overriding goal was to use the life she had left to help those who had contracted lung cancer and to teach prevention to those who had not. “If I can get them to listen, if I can help others avoid what I’m going through,” she said, “then my life with this disease will have been worthwhile.” Cancer took Annie two days before she would have reached her two-year survivorship. She felt connected to all those survivors she came in contact with and hopeful for all those who listened to her talk. She surely made a difference.
- Jack Wall
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