“I can’t go on. I’ll go on.” -S. Beckett
Paul Kalanithi (1977 - 2015) was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer in 2013 at age 36. Paul lived with lung cancer for 22 months: he completed his neurosurgery residency at Stanford, wrote the memoir When Breath Becomes Air, and became a father.
Lung cancer is particularly devastating when it affects young adults in the prime of their lives. In other cancers, such as breast cancer and leukemia, research has clearly demonstrated that occurrence at a younger age is associated with a distinct biology that guides treatment. The reason lung cancer occurs in young adults is not clear: this question has never been formally studied.
What your Donation Supports
Donations to the "When Breath Becomes Air" Honor Fund support The Addario Lung Cancer Medical Institute's "Genomics of Young Lung Cancer" project, investigating lung cancer in people under age 40. (Paul was a participant in this important study, which allows patients to participate remotely.)