Kansas City, Missouri 2021-11-30 17:40:00 –
Kansas City, Missouri (KCTV)-November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month. At the end of the month, local men are working here in Kansas City to raise awareness and change perceptions.
Don Gallagher is fighting slowly metastasized stage 3b lung cancer. He is also a loving grandpa and husband, raised on a farm and has a healthy and active lifestyle. In fact, you might call him a microcosm of health. He has a plant-based diet and runs a vegan Instagram account called “Grandpa Cooks Vegas.”
“It was a big surprise because I was a pretty healthy person until then,” Gallagher explained when talking about his diagnosis.
When he got sick in 2019, it came as a complete shock. He thought that a prolonged cough due to the infection turned out to be cancer. “I have never linked it to lung cancer, because lung cancer is what you get after you smoke and I have never smoked:
Dr. Ran Subramanian is a doctor at Gallagher at Saint Luke’s Hospital. He explained to KCTV5: “Lung cancer is the biggest murderer of both male and female cancers. There is a stigma attached to it and it comes automatically … they have to be smokers and it’s always true Not always.
In fact, like Gallagher, 10-15% of US patients have never smoked in their lives. It sounds to 20,000 to 30,000 patients each. Most lung cancer patients who smoked quit smoking 10 to 20 years ago.
Gallagher said it reminds anyone with lungs that they can get lung cancer. He attributed his cancer to radon exposure grown on a farm in Iowa. “Radon is the number one cause of lung cancer in people who have never smoked,” he told KCTV5.
Since his diagnosis, he has started another Instagram account. He calls this “Grandpa blames lung cancer.”
He is using this platform to raise awareness of the White Ribbon project. A national movement to inform others about lung cancer. He emphasizes the importance of being your own defender.
After his diagnosis, Gallagher and his wife Linda worked to find a clinical trial immediately.
Gallagher, in collaboration with Saint Luke’s Hospital, began using the new drug six months before it was approved by the FDA. “Honestly, my wife and I agree that it saved my life,” he said.
“We probably didn’t have to wait six months,” Gallagher’s doctor reiterated.
Dr. Subramanian explained that his determination has saved others in the metro. “Don’s efforts to achieve this also helped others from his side. There were patients who could receive this drug even before Don could get it. It had a significant impact on many patients, “said Dr. Subramanian.
Gallagher believes that Dr. Subrahmanyan, his radiation oncologist, Dr. Lakra, and his family and community helped him fight this horrific disease.
Dr. Subramanian added that early detection is key. Talk to your doctor if you continue to cough, have hemoptysis, have chest pain, or have unexplained weight loss.
Don also tells everyone to have a radon test at home.
Don’s Instagram account can be found here:
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