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Patient Stories


Changing the Face of Lung Cancer is a collection of stories from lung cancer patients and survivors across Australia, sharing their experiences and search for hope, and advocating for all Australians to recognise that lung cancer is a disease that can affect anyone, anytime, how to identify the warning signs, and what to do if you or someone you know needs help for diagnosis or treatment. Click here to check out the stories.


If you or a loved one has been recently diagnosed with lung cancer, it is likely you have been provided with basic information about the disease, possible treatment options and general statistics.

Quite often, newly diagnosed patients do not have the opportunity to connect with other lung cancer patients.   We hope that providing you with other patients’ personal stories on this website that you will draw hope, support and inspiration from their experiences.

We invite you to share your own personal story with others.  Your story, in turn, will  provide hope and inspiration to other patients. If you feel you would like to share a story, then please email kerrie@lungfoundation.com.au.

Attached is a simple guideline to help you get started.

P.S. Patient stories is the most read page on our website. Your story will be heard.

    Living with Advanced Lung Cancer

    Reflections or Lessons Learned Written By Jo Silva (and behalf of, and spouse of Jay, living with Stage 4 lung cancer) My husband Jay was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer in 2011 at age 39, and this year we are excited to be celebrating his six year survivorship anniversary – a survival that was […]

    April 3, 2017 at 10:23 am by Laura Guthrie

    Life changes in a breath

    On top of the world  I am a reasonably fit 53 year old woman who was born in the Philippines and moved to Australia in 1987. I am married and have two beautiful daughters in their 20’s which I raised at the time as a single mum. Since 2011, I have been operating my own […]

    February 20, 2017 at 3:14 pm by Laura Guthrie

    Angela’s story

    Angela’s story (written by Angela after her diagnosis in 2016) I am 33 year old single mother with two children aged 7 and 12 years.  Three weeks ago, I found out I have stage 4 lung cancer. There is no cure at this present time. I have spent weeks in hospital away from kids. I […]

    November 16, 2016 at 12:18 pm by Laura Guthrie

    Caroline’s Story

    Lung cancer survivor, Caroline Bernardi, recently published her survival story “Faith, Trust, Gratitude, and Cancer”.  The foreword is by her Oncologist, Professor Michael Boyer. For more information, you can visit Caroline’s facebook page – https://m.facebook.com/Faith-Trust-Gratitude-by-Caroline-Bernardi-1043947135647418/ Here’s is a summary of her extraordinary survivor story. In June of 2008 I was sitting in my car waiting to […]

    September 20, 2016 at 5:07 pm by Laura Guthrie

    Marilyn’s story

    In 2013 at the age of 61, I was diagnosed with lung cancer out of the blue after having a CT scan on my neck and upper back for ongoing nerve pain. The CT scan showed the cause of my nerve pain, but it also unexpectedly showed a 3cm mass at the top of my […]

    August 15, 2016 at 12:30 pm by Laura Guthrie

    Belinda’s survival story – What a miracle!

    I was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer just over five and a half years ago.  The only indication I had that something was wrong was a pain in my back that I couldn’t get any relief from. I went to physiotherapists, chiropractors masseuses and doctors who didn’t know what to do with me. One doctor […]

    August 10, 2016 at 11:51 am by Laura Guthrie

    Catherine’s story

    That first few minutes in the morning when you open your eyes and your mind is clear and you haven’t yet remembered what’s happening in your life. That everything is ok, normal and how you dreamed your life would be… And then you wake up. In September 2014 I had the worst case of the […]

    July 12, 2016 at 12:40 pm by Laura Guthrie

    Bruno Galgano’s story

      My name is Bruno. I am 45 years old and a divorced but devoted father of 3 wonderful children under 10 years of age –  Adam (10), Olivia (9) and Luke (7). On the afternoon of Tuesday 14th June 2015, I was diagnosed with Stage 3b lung cancer and I have never smoked.  This […]

    June 6, 2016 at 12:53 pm by Laura Guthrie

    Barbara’s survival story – 8 years on

    My journey with cancer started in November 2008.  While visiting my daughter in Perth, I started coughing. Whenever I talked I coughed. I got back to Canberra and thought this is ridiculous, so I went to the doctor and he sent me for an X-ray. Looking back I can recognise the signs that had already […]

    May 16, 2016 at 3:33 pm by Laura Guthrie

    Jodie Smith

    In September 2014, I took myself off to the Doctor because I had a simple cough and thought I had a touch of pneumonia.  I was placed on a six week course of antibiotics. I picked up a little with the medication but I still had a persistent cough that just wouldn’t budge. At the same […]

    March 14, 2016 at 12:23 pm by Laura Guthrie

    Jan’s story

    “An exercise program was the best thing that could have happened to me”. I was diagnosed with lung cancer thirteen years ago in 2002 – luckily I was young (55), diagnosed early, and otherwise in good health. The upper lobe of my right lung was removed surgically, taking out a stage 2a adenocarcinoma, and my […]

    February 19, 2016 at 2:13 pm by Laura Guthrie

    Lisa’s story

    Brave young Mum shines a light on her remarkable survival story Click here to watch Lisa’s story.

    December 7, 2015 at 11:41 am by Laura Guthrie

    ALK positive patient Alexandra tells her story …

    My name is Alexandra and two and a half years ago my life was turned upside down. I was 31, the mother of a two-year-old, a clean eating runner who had never touched a cigarette – and I had lung cancer. My diagnosis came after I found a small hard lymph node in my neck, […]

    May 20, 2015 at 11:47 am by Laura Guthrie

    Brett’s Story

    Queensland firefighter shares his lung cancer survivor story Brett Torcetti is a 50 year old firefighter from Clifton, Queensland. He is a busy father of seven children and grandfather to three grand-children, all between the ages of 7 – 24 years. Brett is also a lung cancer survivor. In December 2011, while working as an […]

    February 12, 2015 at 11:22 pm by Laura Guthrie

    Liz’s story

    34 days from diagnosis to the “all clear” I’m a 56 year old professional woman and a former smoker in good health.  I was incidentally diagnosed with lung cancer (non-small cell adenocarcinoma) early this year. By sheer luck, the ‘mass’ in my lung was discovered when I had surgery for an unrelated issue (a total […]

    September 8, 2014 at 1:51 am by Laura Guthrie

    Lisa’s Story

    How Sam helped in Lisa’s lung cancer journey Life has a way of waking you up in the most forceful of ways, like a metaphorical slap in the face. While every day on this planet is one to be appreciated, some people push it just that little bit further and are an inspiration to all […]

    June 17, 2014 at 1:30 pm by Administrator

    Kylie’s story

    Lung Cancer Network Australia (formerly Kylie Johnston Lung Cancer Network) was inspired by Kylie Johnston – a young, fit 27 year old woman, who was diagnosed with advanced non small cell lung cancer in May 2003. Throughout the 4 ½ years Kylie lived with lung cancer, she and husband Nick, devoted time, energy and passion […]

    June 17, 2014 at 1:30 pm by Administrator

    Flu jab saves lung cancer patient’s life

    Sandy Sampson from Karratha WA was left with a persistent cough after having an reaction to a flu jab. Sandy went s_sampsonto see her doctor about her cough and was sent off for a precautionary x-ray. The x-ray revealed a mass which turned out to be tumours in her chest and lungs. The next 5 […]

    June 17, 2014 at 1:29 pm by Administrator

    13 years since I was diagnosed with lung cancer, but who’s counting!

    Mike’s story My diagnosis of lung cancer and treatment has changed my life as it would change anybody’s. I now have a sense of my mortality and I certainly do look around and appreciate things that I took for granted in the past. 13 years afterwards I am still conscious of the fact I am […]

    June 17, 2014 at 1:28 pm by Administrator

    Maggie – A second opinion saved my life

    This 3-part video story is a moving account of Maggie’s story. Thank you Maggie and Linda (Maggie’s daughter) for creating this wonderfully inspiring insight into your life. Part 1 – A second opinion may save my life Part 2 – Maggie’s daughter gets involved Part 3 – After surgery  

    June 4, 2014 at 2:09 pm by Laura Guthrie

    Coleen – A long term survivor

    Long Term Survivor My Family Support  

    June 4, 2014 at 2:08 pm by Laura Guthrie

    Cornelius – the fight of his life

    The fight of my life Cornelius, a fit non-drinker and non-smoker diagnosed with lung cancer, talks about his journey with lung cancer.

    June 4, 2014 at 2:07 pm by Laura Guthrie