Ten For Ten Million Inc.

Tiffany’s Story

The Driving Force

"My cancer diagnosis doesn't define me. I refuse to let it. But it does drive me"

The Driving Force

At 37 years old, in the best physical shape of my life, lung cancer was the last thing I ever expected when I began experiencing shortness of breath in the fall of 2020. But after a complicated bronchoscopy, a lengthy hospital visit and dozens of tests, the results were conclusive: advanced non-small cell adenocarcinoma.

I never smoked. I maintained a healthy diet. I exercised constantly. As a Registered Nurse and part‐time Pilates instructor, I was more proactive than most when it came to managing my own health and well-being. Yet cancer found me. It found me in the prime of my life. It found me with two beautiful kids and a loving husband.

Sadly, I am not alone. In the US in 2020 alone, nearly 2 million people were newly diagnosed with cancer. Cancer remains as the second-highest cause of death worldwide, taking nearly 10 million people every year. Cancer does not discriminate. It can find you at any age, at any stage of life. 

As I learned more about my own cancer, I quickly realized how much progress has been made in recent years, particularly in the treatment of lung cancer. Significant breakthroughs are happening at a rate previously not imagined. In my case, I have responded well to molecular targeting drugs, which are taken by pill and attack the specific genetic mutation that causes my cancer. At the time of my diagnosis, my lung function was declining so quickly that I required supplemental oxygen just to perform basic tasks. After 10 months of treatment, I am back to exercising and chasing my boys, and even jogging at least a mile per day. 

While the innovation in lung cancer treatment has been nothing short of miraculous, more progress is needed. Lung cancer still kills more people each year than the next three types of cancer combined. In my case, we know that the treatment which is working wonders will eventually stop working.

Thankfully, there are amazing people who have committed their lives to finding new breakthroughs. And the best of these amazing people happen to work at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, where I am blessed enough to be receiving treatment. Their research is constantly pushing the limits of what's possible, and gives me a specific and tangible hope that I want everyone to know about. 

My cancer diagnosis does not define me. I refuse to let it. But it does drive me. It drives me to be a better person and a more present mom and wife. And it drives me to share the hope I feel every day, not just with those who are fighting for their lives, but with those who soon will be.

Above all, the message I want to spread is that we are all on borrowed time. Live freely and choose happiness, and don't wait until it's too late to contribute to something so important.

God Bless. 

Tiffany Job 

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